Repair puts Oct 23 space shuttle date at risk

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MIAMI, Sep 17 (Reuters) The repair of a landing gear leak on the space shuttle Discovery could put in jeopardy the US spacecraft's October 23 launch date on a construction mission to the International Space Station, NASA said today.

NASA managers decided one or more leaking seals on Discovery's right-side landing gear must be replaced, but were not yet sure how much work the job entailed or whether it would delay the third shuttle mission of the year, NASA spokesman George Diller said.

''There is a risk to the October 23rd date,'' he said.

The leak is in a strut that acts as a shock absorber to help cushion the shuttle's landing, Diller said.

Discovery's seven-member crew is scheduled to attach an Italian-built module to the 0 billion space station during a 13-day mission.

REUTERS RC BST0304

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