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Leak forces shuttle delay

And I miss my opportunity to finally see a Shuttle launch. The closer we get to the last of the launches, the more and more I am realizing that if I do not take the opportunity to try to get to one, it will be over before I realize it, and I’ll never see one. Yesterday I was realizing that if I did everything right, I could just make it in time to see todays launch. Unfortunately, I found out around 2am this morning as I was racing across south Georgia, that a leak is forcing a delay to this particular launch. I guess I’ll just have to come back at a later time. The one good thing is that I was able to get bumped to an earlier flight back home, so I’ll be able to take a nap in my own bed later this morning. I am writing this sitting at the Orlando airport, and will be departing at 6:15. The following is the text of NASA’s official press release about the delay.

The launch of space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-127 mission to the International Space Station is on hold due to a leak associated with the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the external fuel tank. The system is used to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At 12:26 a.m. EDT Saturday, managers officially scrubbed the launch for at least 96 hours.

The earliest the shuttle could be ready for liftoff is June 17, however there is a range conflict on that date with the scheduled launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. 

Mission managers will hold a meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday to discuss the repair options and Endeavour’s launch attempt opportunities. A news conference will follow the meeting’s conclusion and will air live on NASA Television and the agency Web site.


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