NASA Go for Return to Flight Launch Attempt Tuesday

July 25, 2005

NASA gave the green light for a launch attempt Tuesday for Space Shuttle Discovery on its Return to Flight mission (STS-114). Launch is scheduled for 10:39 a.m. EDT, and it will be carried live on NASA TV.

Senior NASA managers met Sunday at Kennedy Space Center for a launch readiness meeting. Discussions focused on recent problems related to a liquid hydrogen low-level fuel sensor inside the external fuel tank, which prompted postponement of the Shuttle’s launch on July 13. Since then, engineers have been working around-the-clock on troubleshooting the sensor system issue.

NASA ran more than 160 tests but has failed to explain what exactly caused the failure of one of the four hydrogen level sensors. The space agency hopes to detect the root of the problem during last-minute testing while the shuttle's massive external tank is being filled.

During the countdown, managers will monitor for recurrence of the problem. If any new sensor-related issues occur, engineers would stop the countdown to reassess the situation.

The sensors send data on the levels of hydrogen in the tank to determine when the three engines should be shut off during the ascent into orbit. Failure of the sensors can result in premature shutdown of the orbiter's engines during the shuttle's ascent.

Shuttle Weather Officer, 1st Lt. Mindy Chavez, reported that the development of cumulus clouds, stray showers or anvil clouds could be a concern at launch time. The chance of Kennedy weather cooperating for the launch remains at 60 percent.

Explore further: Big plans for small satellites—testing laser communications, formation flying

Related Stories

NASA to fly parallel science campaigns at both poles

September 24, 2015

For the first time in its seven years of flights, NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne survey of changes in Earth's polar ice, is conducting overlapping campaigns in Antarctica and the Arctic. Since 2009, IceBridge has ...

ExoMars 2016 targets March launch window

September 21, 2015

A problem recently discovered in two sensors in the propulsion system of the entry, descent and landing demonstrator module has prompted the recommendation to move the launch of the ExoMars 2016 mission, initially foreseen ...

Living in space—and on Earth—is a balancing act

September 17, 2015

According to doctors, sometimes the best treatment for what ails you is rest. A new joint investigation by NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) may challenge that notion.

Recommended for you

NASA measuring the pulsating aurora

October 7, 2015

Thanks to a lucky conjunction of two satellites, a ground-based array of all-sky cameras, and some spectacular aurora borealis, researchers have uncovered evidence for an unexpected role that electrons have in creating the ...

The topolariton, a new half-matter, half-light particle

October 7, 2015

A new type of "quasiparticle" theorized by Caltech's Gil Refael, a professor of theoretical physics and condensed matter theory, could help improve the efficiency of a wide range of photonic devices—technologies, such as ...

Perfectly accurate clocks turn out to be impossible

October 7, 2015

Can the passage of time be measured precisely, always and everywhere? The answer will upset many watchmakers. A team of physicists from the universities of Warsaw and Nottingham have just shown that when we are dealing with ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.