|Volume: 03, Issue: 14||07/13/2005|
First Discovery Launch Attempt ScrubbedThe seven astronauts comprising the STS-114 crew for NASA’s Return to Flight mission will have to wait a little longer to take their journey into space. As Space Shuttle Discovery waited on the launch pad, nearing its projected 3:51 p.m. launch time and with all seven crew members aboard, mission managers called off the countdown. A problem with the vehicle’s low-level fuel cutoff sensor caused NASA to postpone the launch.
For the moment, no new launch date has been set, but Space Shuttle Program Deputy Manager Wayne Hale said the best-case scenario for the next launch attempt is Saturday, July 16 at 2:40 p.m. EDT. If Discovery cannot launch in July, the next window is not until September.
During a press briefing after the postponement, NASA managers said they're still analyzing the issue with the engine cut-off sensor. The sensor in question is one of four designed to protect an orbiter's main engines by triggering them to shut down in the event fuel runs unexpectedly low. NASA said the sensor was indicating low fuel levels even though the external tank had been filled shortly before the test.
While the sensors are undergoing analysis, the STS-114 crew will remain at Kennedy Space Center. After diagnostic tests are conducted to the sensor, the decision will be made to send the crew back to the training facility in Houston or have them remain in Florida.
Eileen Collins is the commander for the Return to Flight mission and leads an international crew of six other astronauts. Discovery is set for a 12-day flight to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. The STS-114 mission comes after a two and a half year initiative to reinforce the orbiters and improve the safety of the Space Shuttle fleet.
To learn more and receive the latest breaking information, please visit http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight/main/index.html .
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