Mon, May 02, 2011
Shuttle Endeavour Launch No Earlier Than May 8
While the ANN crew sure enjoyed the few hours we spent last week
at the cape in preparation for the launch of STS-134 ... we sure
did not enjoy the other ritual we have come to know all too well...
the Launch Scrub.
NASA managers have determined space shuttle Endeavour will not
launch before Sunday, May 8, but will not officially set a new
launch date until early this week. After Friday's launch scrub,
Kennedy Space Center technicians searched for the cause of a
failure in a heater circuit associated with Endeavour's hydraulic
power system. The failure was found to be in a power circuit in a
switchbox in the shuttle's aft compartment.
Managers and engineers are developing a schedule to remove and
replace the switchbox and retest the new unit. That work will delay
Endeavour's launch until at least May 8.
The shuttle has three Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) that provide
hydraulic power to steer the vehicle during ascent and entry. The
hydrazine fuel lines on each APU have two heater circuits that
prevent the fuel from freezing while the shuttle is in space. NASA
launch commit criteria and flight rules require all three APUs and
heater circuits to be operational for liftoff.
Endeavour's six astronauts have returned to NASA's Johnson Space
Center in Houston for several days of additional training -- and in
the meantime, the ANN and Aero-TV launch coverage crew looks
forward to an actual launch -- someday.
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