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WASHINGTON Jose Fernando Cuadrado Colombia Jersey , Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The first test flight of the U.S. new human spacecraft, Orion, designed to carry astronauts to an asteroid and eventually to Mars, has been postponed for 24 hours, U.S. space agency NASA said Thursday.


The 370-million-U.S.-dollar launch was originally scheduled for 7:05 a.m. EDT (1205 GMT), but was delayed four times, first due to a stray boat in the launch zone Jefferson Lerma Colombia Jersey , then twice for strong winds and finally because of an issue related to the rocket's fill and drain valves.


At last, NASA decided to cancel the launch attempt from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as teams could not troubleshoot the valve problem before the two-hour, 39-minute launch window expired.


"The launch of Orion's flight test has been scrubbed for today, " NASA said in a statement. "The next launch window opens at 7:05 a.m. Eastern on Friday, Dec. 5."


On this unmanned test flight, Orion will test systems critical to crew safety as it travels farther into space than any spacecraft built for humans has traveled in more than 40 years, NASA said.


During the 4.5-hour flight James Rodriguez Colombia Jersey , Orion will orbit Earth twice, covering more than 60,000 miles (96,600 km) and reaching an altitude of 3,600 miles (5,800 km) on the second orbit, 15 times farther than the International Space Station.


That altitude will allow the spacecraft to return through the atmosphere at a speed of 20 Giovanni Moreno Colombia Jersey ,000 mph (32,000 kph), which will generate temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,200 degrees Celsius) on Orion'sheat shield. Those temperatures are about 80 percent as hot as Orion would experience returning from lunar orbit, NASA said.


The test flight will also validate systems such as Orion's parachutes, avionics and attitude control Frank Fabra Colombia Jersey , and demonstrate major separation events such as the launch abort system jettison and the service module fairing separation.


If all goes well, the flight will end with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California where NASA and U.S. Navy teams will recover the spacecraft for future use.


Although Orion is a NASA program, the test flight is managed and led by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the spacecraft, and will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy, currently the most powerful rocket in America.


by Maria Spiliopoulou


ATHENS, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Greece was gripped by a new nationwide 24-hour general strike on Thursday Felipe Pardo Colombia Jersey , the first major mobilization in eight months, as the government debated a short extension of the bailout deals with international lenders.


Following the failure to strike an agreement with auditors in Paris on Wednesday on the terms of the release of the last aid tranche in December, the conservative- led government pointed to a short delay of the exit from the EUIMF bailout initially scheduled for year end.


"The goal is to have the last installment disbursed before December 31. If for technical reasons some procedures cannot be completed, there could be an extension," Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Thursday, after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis to discuss the developments.


Venizelos stressed that the extension could take a few days or weeks and Athens in no case will discuss a new memorandum with international creditors which in return would require the implementation of more austerity and reform measures. Greece does not need new loans, he underlined.


Five years after the start of the debt crisis which brought the country at the brink of financial collapse Farid Diaz Colombia Jersey , Greece wants to put a closure on the bailout deals struck since May 2010 which helped keep the ailing economy afloat with multi-billion euro rescue loans in exchange of harsh cuts on salaries, pensions, tax hikes and structural reforms.


Greece exited a six-year recession this year, according to official data, but Greek society still suffers the consequences and can not bear more burdens, protesters who took to the streets of Athens on Thursday a few blocks further from the Prime Minister's office said.


"It is either them or us," read banners waved by demonstrators in front of the parliament during the rally organized by the two umbrella labor unions of public and private sector employees (ADEDY and GSEE) and Left opposition parties.


The mobilization was called in protest of the 2015 draft budget which is due to be put to vote in the parliament on December 7 and foresees further tax increases and spending cuts in the public sector Edwin Cardona Colombia Jersey , including mass layoffs.


Among the about 15,000 protestors who participated in the march, according to police estimates, was also main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party chief Alexis Tsipras who called again for immediate early general elections to change course.


Wednesday's outcome in Paris' talks fuelled scenarios of snap polls within weeks or a few months. The government dismissed them, noting that the dialogue with auditors continues.


According to government sources, the key point of disagreement between the two sides is IMF's insistence on the extent of the 2015 fiscal gap and the necessity to cover it with fresh austerity and reform measures.


For Athens there is no need of further tough policies, since the targets will be achieved through the implementation of the measures already included in the draft budget and the government's overall strategy to boost growth to reverse the crisis' effects.


Demonstrators on the streets of Athens on Thursday were skeptical. "We are here again today to demonstrate our opposition to the policies which transformed a financial crisis into a social and humanitarian crisis Eder Alvarez Balanta Colombia Jersey ," ADEDY's President Stavros Koutsioubelis said, pointing to soaring unemployment and poverty rates.


The march ended in front of the parliament, as public services from schools to hospitals were sh

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