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  Nasa to re-start shuttle flights
Updated 30 October 2004, 11.16
Columbia space shuttle debris
American space agency Nasa says the first space shuttle mission since the Columbia disaster in 2003 will be launched next year.

Shuttle missions were called off after Columbia disintegrated when returning to earth, killing seven astronauts.

It led to an urgent review of shuttle technology. Nasa says the new mission could take off in May or June.

There have been 113 shuttle missions. Columbia was the second fatal accident after Challenger blew up in 1986.

The crew of Columbia
The crew of Columbia

The hurricanes which hit the US coast in the summer have also delayed the shuttle programme getting back on track.

Blast off

Three hurricanes lashed the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where shuttles blast off.

About 28 more missions are planned, most to help build the International Space Station.

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