A possible three-month delay in the next shuttle launch could affect NASA's plans to finish the International Space Station by 2010. A hail storm in February severely damaged the shuttle's external fuel tank, but officials hope the shuttle can launch between April 22 and May 21.
The Air Force said it will delay the first launch of a satellite aboard Boeing's powerful Delta IV rocket by at least three months. An Air Force official said a leak during recent test fueling of the rocket caused some cracking of the launch platform.
The Coast Guard has removed Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman as lead integrators of a $600 million patrol boat program. The Coast Guard said it will manage the program itself, which will allow it to save enough money to buy an additional ship and get the boats built faster. The companies on Wednesday said they were just informed of the decision and could not comment because they had not seen the program plan.
House lawmakers this week will consider legislation that would put new limits on no-bid contracts and cost overruns. The measure would limit no-bid contracts issued in times of emergency to one year and require government agencies to explain to Congress within 14 days why a competition wasn't held.
A DHS official said the department is studying how it might use high-altitude, unmanned aerial vehicles to counter small surface-to-air missile attacks on commercial aircraft. DHS is taking the action partly in response to "pushback" from the airline industry over the cost of equipping airliners with anti-missile technology. DHS will issue an announcement seeking industry suggestions, Jay Cohen, DHS under secretary for science and technology, said.