NASA need more time for Atlantis

by Chris Bergin

Thursday has been ruled out for another launch attempt with Shuttle Atlantis on STS-115, following Wednesday’s scrub due to a problem with Fuel Cell 1 on the vehicle.

Managers at the Mission Management Team (MMT) meeting decided to wait 24 hours for more data and hope for a launch attempt on Friday. The MMT will meet tomorrow at 12 noon Central time.

**L2 STS-115 Coverage: L-2 and L-1 MMT Notes. ALL related handbooks, from Final Flight Plan to EVA Presentations (550mb of 115 presentations downloadable)**

**STS-115: Launch Attempt: SCRUB Update Page** – One stop LIVE updates.

KEY EVENTS: (Colour code: Red ‘No Go’ – Green: ‘Go’)
External Tank Weather Orbiter Range.

Key Points/Newsflashes: Update: 22 PDFs from Wednesday’s MMT available to download on L2. Full MMT overview following the conclusion of today’s meeting also available.

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It would appear that NASA was attempting to push towards a launch attempt on Thursday, but opted to take another day to evaluate the vast amount of data that was presented to the MMT during the day.

‘After initially trying to direct that we proceed towards a Thursday launch, while simultaneously trying to review FCP history in an attempt to get more comfortable with possible common cause failure modes, the MMT chair was redirected by the SSP program manager to push out to a launch NET Friday,’ noted one of two overviews from the MMT. 

‘This came after several other MMT members expressed a preference to push out until Friday.

‘A primary driver for this decision was that the engineering team involved in researching the problem would also be on console for launch. 

‘In addition, there would not be enough time to research the problem sufficiently and present it at the tanking telecon on Thursday morning. 

‘An additional 24 hours would give a lot more time to come to grips with the data.’

On the agenda for tomorrow’s MMT will be a review of historical data, plus the potential of flying ‘as-is’ with one of the three phases on the Fuel Cell in question. The other option would be to replace the unit.

‘History on Fuel Cells 1, 2, and 3. All activity with units since last flight. Major change outs to fuel cell,’ noted the list of Thursday’s MMT agenda. ‘Any MR’s on relay back to motor. Pass/Fail threshold criteria (to be done real-time)’

Already tagged for review is the historical data from STS-93, which suffered a momentary short on AC1 phase A, five seconds into the launch.

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