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April date targeted for space shuttle launch

The earliest date for the first launch of the space shuttle Columbia appears to be April 8 or 9, the head of the space agency told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday. The target for the long-awaited mission had been April 7, but Dr. Alan Lovelace told the subcommittee that the 8th or 9th appeared more likely, "based on the work remaining" at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

Lovelace also confirmed that a partially flooded landing area at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert might mean a landing in New Mexico instead of California.

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