Discovery on the launchpad. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
NASA announced today that the launch of space shuttle Discovery for the STS-133 mission has been pushed back to no earlier than Feb. 3, 2011, to allow for more testing on the external tank stringers. Cracks on the stringers were found after the tank was loaded with cryogenic fuel for a subsequently scrubbed launch attempt in November.
“We’ve hit a point where there is no obvious answer for what has occurred,” said shuttle program manger John Shannon at a press briefing today, “so we have to take the next step and understand to very fine level the stress on the stringers and to find if that is a root cause of what happened to the STS-133 tank. I need to better understand the conditions to fly that fly tank confidently. It’s unfortunate we are not making the December launch window. But we want to make sure that we do this exactly right.” (…) Read the rest of Shuttle Launch Delayed to February of 2011 (319 words)
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(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | One comment | Add to del.icio.us Post
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