CAPE CANAVERAL (CBS4) – Space Shuttle Discovery mission manager may have to delay the launch of the shuttle all the way into Christmas.

Discovery was originally supposed to launch on November 5, but hydrogen leaks halted the countdown. Unrelated cracks were later found on the shuttle’s fuel tank.

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NASA is looking to delay the shuttle launch until they understand the cracking. The shuttle will be visiting the International Space Station for an 11-day mission.

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If NASA managers don’t get the shuttle launched by December 3, the next launch window opens December 17. That will be after a new space station crew lifts off from Kazakhstan.

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If the shuttle doesn’t fly by the end of the year, it will be grounded until February.