Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crawler problem delays Discovery's rollback

A problem with a crawler-transporter's leveling system has delayed Discovery's rollback to the Vehicle Assembly Building until at least this afternoon.

The system keeps the 12-million pound load of the shuttle and its mobile launch platform level as it raised or lowered from pedestals on the pad, as it descends the pad's slope and throughout the 3.4-mile journey.

The shuttle was expected to begin rolling off pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center at 12:30 a.m.

Officials later said preparations were running slightly behind and the trip would begin around an hour later.

A lunar eclipse proceeded on schedule, but Discovery never left the pad.

Managers now say the leveling problem could be resolved in time for Discovery and the eight-tracked transporter to begin rolling this afternoon, but no time has been specified.

The trip is expected to about six hours barring any further technical problems.

IMAGE: At Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 21, shuttle Discovery made the last leg of its journey, known as "rollout," from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A. Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Boy... NASA is really not helping their own cause right now. How do they expect to keep pushing for more missions when they are having problems like this... yikes.