Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Crew installing new switch box on Endeavour

A faulty electronic switch box that caused the scrub of last week’s shuttle Endeavour launch was removed early this morning.

Technicians are now working to install a new Load Control Assembly-2 box in the orbiter's aft compartment.

Once it’s in place it will take at least two days to complete testing.

NASA officials say the earliest Endeavour will launch is one week from today.

A more definite launch date probably won’t be known until Friday when managers reconvene.

The box routes power to nine critical systems, from the auxiliary power units to the main engines and orbital thrusters.

Had the problem not been detected, it could have led to a fire during flight.

Delaying the STS134 mission may affect the scheduled June 28 launch of shuttle Atlantis, the final flight in the shuttle program.

Atlantis is scheduled to roll from Orbiter Processing Facility-1 at Kennedy to the Vehicle Assembly Building on May 10. It’s six-hour trip the Launch Pad 39A is down for May 20.

IMAGE: At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, a technician makes his way across a platform in space shuttle Endeavour's aft section as work begins to remove and replace the aft load control assembly-2 (ALCA-2). Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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