NASA To Test Atlantis Fuel Tank Sensors Next Week | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-

Airborne Unlimited-

AMA Drone Report-

Airborne Unlimited-

Airborne On ANN

Airborne Unlimited--12.09.19

Airborne UnManned--12.10.19

Airborne Unlimited--12.11.19

AMA Drone Report--12.12.19

Airborne Unlimited--12.06.19


Airborne Unlimited--12.09.19

Airborne UnManned--12.10.19

Airborne Unlimited--12.11.19

AMA Drone Report--12.12.19

Airborne Unlimited--12.06.19

Wed, Dec 12, 2007

NASA To Test Atlantis Fuel Tank Sensors Next Week

Hoping To Avoid Trip Back To VAB

Technicians and engineers in NASA's space shuttle program plan to test the engine cutoff (ECO) sensor system onboard space shuttle Atlantis by pumping super-cold liquid hydrogen into the external fuel tank. The test is tentatively planned for December 18, and will be conducted on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center where Atlantis remains poised for launch.

As ANN reported, NASA was forced to postpone last Thursday's scheduled launch of Atlantis, due to the problematic sensors located within the shuttle's external fuel tank. After a second launch attempt Sunday was scrubbed, NASA rescheduled the launch for no earlier than January 2, 2008.

Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale said additional instruments will be used during the test to pinpoint the problem that led to false readings during two previous countdown attempts for Atlantis.

The companies that built the pieces of the space shuttle are conducting tests at other facilities to help determine a cause, Hale said.

"This is part of broad-ranging effort," Hale said.

NASA hopes the on-pad test will pinpoint the cause of the recurring malfunction of the four ECO sensors within the tank, and determine a fix is possible without sending Atlantis back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for a more thorough teardown. Such a move would likely delay launch for months... throwing NASA's tight shuttle launch schedule into total disarray.

"We have a high degree of confidence of pinpointing the location of where we are having problems," Hale told The Houston Chronicle. "Once we know the location — and there is about 100 feet of wiring with several connectors and sensors at the end -- we will be able to concentrate on our go-forward efforts, presumably put together a fix, and go fly."

The ECO sensors detect when levels of hydrogen within the external tank run low, and send a signal to shut off the orbiter's three main engines before fuel runs out. Continuing to operate the engines without fuel would lead to a catastrophic failure; likewise, cutting off the flow of fuel too soon would lead to a launch abort.

Two sensors malfunctioned during last Thursday's countdown; NASA's launch standards require three of the four sensors to be operational at time of launch. A third sensor mysteriously failed as NASA began loading hydrogen into the tank Sunday morning.



More News

DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase Announces 2020 Event Date

Sport Aviation Event Prepares For Its Fifth Edition, Nov. 12-14, 2020 The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase (DSAS) has been studying results, comments, surveys and statistics from the>[...]

Airborne 12.09.19: DroneStrike... Or Not?, Rotax 2020 Fly-In, ICAS 2019

Also: Pensacola NAS Tragedy, DHS May Require Pix, UAL Leadership Shift, NASA Parker Solar Probe While no actual physical or visual evidence has been confirmed at this point, a dron>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 12.10.19: EHang In-City Demo, ISO Standards, DroneStrike?

Also: Drone Aviation-ComSovereign, Public Safety UAS Training, Disaster Management, NCDOT Drone Program EHang has announced its strategic partnership with property developer Heli C>[...]

AMA Drone Report 12.05.19: Drone Thieves, JetQuad, SkyPixel And DJI

Also: Helios Visions, DoJ v Drones, $100,000 AMA Grant, Airborne Drone Programming Upgrades Two thieves broke into Atlanta Hobby Shop in Forsyth, GA on November 30 and made off wit>[...]

Airborne 12.11.19: Granley's Airshow Record, Global Spitfire, AirVenture

Also: Tuskegee Airman's 100th, Blue Angels Update, Piper Aircraft, SpaceX In-Flight Abort Test Walking the floor of the International Council Of Airshows convention is fun stuff...>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2019 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC