NASA pulled space shuttle Atlantis off the launch pad and sent it back to the hangar Monday to await a trip to the Hubble Space Telescope next year.
Atlantis was scheduled to blast off this month on a mission to make repairs and upgrade the telescope. But the Hubble broke down three weeks ago and stopped sending data, forcing NASA to regroup and delay its mission until at least February.
Now astronauts will need time to train for a telescope repair they hadn't planned on. Atlantis' return to the vehicle assembly building marks the 18th time in 25 years that NASA has had to pull a launch-ready spacecraft off the pad.
The 18-year-old Hubble has been unable to send back pictures since Sept. 27. Flight controllers tried unsuccessfully to get a backup channel working last week, and may make another attempt this week.
The next launch is now scheduled to be Nov. 14, when Endeavour will make a delivery to the international space station that will allow the station to accommodate six astronauts, instead of the current three.
Beefcake earns excommunication
Chad Hardy of Las Vegas completed his course work at Brigham Young University in June, and attended graduation ceremonies in August. But in between, he was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for releasing a calendar called "Men on a Mission," featuring shirtless missionaries at work. He said he made the calendar to fight the stuffy stereotype of Mormons. The church said it was unbecoming. The school said that if the church reinstates Hardy, it will consider awarding the degree. About 11,000 copies of the calender have been sold.
51 years ago, we nearly made contact
An American fighter pilot flying from an English air base in 1957 was ordered to open fire on a UFO that lit up his radar, according to an account published by Britain's National Archives on Monday. Retired U.S. Airman Milton Torres, who now lives in Miami, says he is the unnamed pilot in the reports. "It was so fast, it was so incredible," Torres says now. "It was absolutely death defying." The pilot never had visual contact, so did not fire, but said it showed up with "incredible intensity" on radar.
Game 5 to Anand
World chess champion Viswanathan Anand took a commanding two-point lead over challenger Vladimir Kramnik on Monday. The win gave Anand, of India, a 3.5 to 1.5 lead after five games in their 12-game match in Bonn, Germany. Kramnik called his situation "difficult but not completely hopeless." Both of Anand's victories came while using black pieces. In today's Game 6, he will have white.