Sunday, May 01, 2011

NASA managers meeting to discuss Endeavour launch.

NASA managers are meeting this morning to discuss the fixes necessary to get Endeavour ready to launch.

The chances of a Monday attempt appear to be dimming.

Endeavour Pilot Greg "Box" Johnson tweeted: "Hope for a Monday launch is fading...but the bigger picture is we are ensuring Endeavour is in tip-top shape. We'll fly when she's ready."

Friday's planned 3:47 p.m. launch scrubbed when heaters on a fuel line linked to the orbiter's hydraulic power system failed to turn on. The fuel line in question feeds one of three auxiliary power unit on the ship.

Teams were able to get into the orbiter's aft compartment Saturday to begin troubleshooting.

A Monday launch was considered possible if the problem was limited to thermostats. If the switch box known as the Load Control Assembly, or LCA, is at fault, that could take days to swap out and retest.

Endeavour has launch opportunities through Wednesday before NASA will give way to the planned Friday launch of an Atlas V rocket and military satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The next possible opportunity would be as early as May 8, but possibly later because of a potential conflict with a Russian spacecraft that would be scheduled to depart the International Space Station at the same time as Endeavour.

On the next to last shuttle mission, Endeavour and its crew of six are scheduled to fly a two-week mission to deliver spare parts and a $2 billion science instrument to the station.

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