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THIOKOL ELATED OVER GO-AHEAD FOR SHUTTLE FLIGHTS

Thiokol Corp. executives said the month spent resolving potential problems in the Utah-made shuttle booster rockets was "a lot of work" but worth it.

NASA on Friday said it has rescheduled the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour for Thursday. The countdown will start Monday."Obviously, we're elated to have completed all the work necessary to get back in flight," said George Alford, manager of Thiokol's solid-fuel rocket motor program. "It was a lot of work, but it really went well. We're ready to go fly again."

And Tommy Holloway, manager of NASA's Space Shuttle Program in Houston, said, "We've accomplished what we set out to do."

The fifth shuttle launch this year originally had been scheduled for Aug. 5, but the countdown was halted one week before liftoff when Thiokol technicians reloading the 149-foot-tall booster rockets from two previous summer flights discovered the 6,000-degree exhaust gases had singed protective O-ring seals inside the nozzle.

NASA officials characterized the damage as minor but still wanted to find the cause and fix it before resuming Endeavour's countdown.

They insist the singed O-rings of Atlantis and Discovery in June and July caused no added danger.