Shuttle Atlantis mission delayed until June

NASA has announced the American Space Shuttle Atlantis will not be launched until June 8 almost 3 months later than originally planned. The shuttles fuel tank was damaged during a hail storm in February when it was on the launch pad.

Safety measures for the Space Shuttle programme were stepped up after the Columbia disaster in 2003 that killed all 7 astronauts aboard.

The American Shuttle Fleet has to fly at least 13 more missions to the International Space Station to complete its' assembly while the remaining space shuttles are due to be retired in 2010.