NASA/Kennedy Space Center News Release

      George Diller                                                                              June 30, 2003 
      Kennedy Space Center
      321/867-2468

      KSC Release No. 53-03

      MER-B LAUNCH OF “OPPORTUNITY” SPACECRAFT POSTPONED TO SATURDAY, JULY 5

      The launch of the MER-B “Opportunity” Mars Exploration Rover aboard the Boeing Delta II Heavy Iaunch vehicle has been postponed to no earlier than Saturday, July 5.

      A decision was made today to take additional time to perform tests on the process used to bond the cork insulation to the surface of the Delta II launch vehicle. These tests should be complete late on Wednesday.

      The launch times on Saturday evening are: 10:51:25 p.m. and 11:34:05 p.m. EDT.

      Note to Editors:

      Omar Baez, NASA launch director for MER-B, will be available at the KSC press site on Tuesday at 10 a.m. for an informal meeting with news media who would like to ask questions about the latest postponement.

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