Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Live At KSC: NASA Aims To Resume Countdown

NASA aims to resume shuttle Discovery's countdown today after tests apparently exonerated a suspect main propulsion system valve that triggered a launch delay earlier this week.

But NASA mission managers still must be briefed on the test results before they make a decision on whether to press ahead with a launch attempt shortly after midnight Friday.

"The valve worked without any hang-ups or other problems. It opened and closed the way it was supposed to," said Kennedy Space Center spokesman Allard Beutel. "It's a step in the right direction."

The 18-story spaceship and its crew remain tentatively scheduled to launch at 12:22 a.m. Friday on an International Space Station outfitting mission. Discovery and its crew also would have another opportunity to set sail for the outpost at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

The weather forecasts for both opportunities are favorable.

NASA mission managers will meet at 1 p.m. to review valve test results. A second meeting to decide whether to proceed with propellant-loading operations is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m.

Given a go-ahead from mission managers, engineers would begin loading 500,000 gallons of supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into Discovery’s external tank just before 3 p.m.

1 comment:

Conor said...

The tests were at normal Florida temperature though, and the vslve failed when chilled by liquid hydrogen.