Tanking Test Monday – Window extended

by Chris Bergin

Sources are noting that NASA managers have decided to move Discovery’s Tanking Test to Monday, with a launch attempt on target for the following day, Tuesday, July 26.

The launch window has also been extended to August 4, the last opportunity to launch with enough lighting to film the Shuttles assent to check for debris strikes.
Meanswhile, engineers are still scratching their heads about what caused them to abort the latest space shuttle flight.

The crew of the Discovery will be waiting until at least next Tuesday before there will be another attempt at take-off.

But engineers have still not figured out what caused a fuel sensor malfunction which halted last week’s launch just two hours from lift-off.

If the shuttle cannot be launched in the current window, the mission will be delayed until September.

“We’ve waited two-and-a-half years to be here,” shuttle programme manager Bill Parsons said. “We’re trying awfully hard to resolve this issue.”

Engineers plan two more days of tests before managers attempt to replicate a problem with the hydrogen sensor that cropped up during a routine prelaunch test last week.

If the test of the fully fueled tank on July 25 is successful, NASA could be in position to launch the shuttle on the 26th..

If the sensor problem is detected and corrected by the end of this week, NASA may bypass the Tanking Test.

Related Articles