Wed, Jul 13, 2005
Discovery Mission Won't Fly As Scheduled
ANN REAL-TIME NEWS: 1400 EDT -- NASA has scrubbed
Wednesday's planned launch of the space shuttle
The culprit in Wednesday's delay, just two-and-a-half
hours before the scheduled Return to Flight, was a faulty fuel tank
sensor, according to the space agency. The sensor notices low fuel,
feeding an engine cut-off system that stops the engine from running
when there's nothing to run on, according to NASA.
"We really don’t want the engine to be running at
high speed and then suddenly run out of fuel," said astronaut Dave
Wolf. "That can lead to a devastating breakdown of the engine. So
there are four sensors on the vehicle. Two are required to detect
It was the same sort of problem that caused engineers to
take Discovery from the launch pad in May after the issues surfaced
during a fueling test in April. The shuttle was slowly carried back
to the Vehicle Assembly Building and the fuel tank was replaced.
NASA officials decided not to re-run the fueling test on the new
tank in order to save time.
"We are disappointed, but we'll fly again on another
day," Wolf said, quoted by the Associated Press.
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