Managers to Discuss Atlantis Launch Today

December 7, 2007
Managers to Discuss Atlantis Launch Today
Space shuttle Atlantis stands on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

The launch of NASA's space shuttle Atlantis will take place no earlier than Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3:43 p.m. EST. Thursday's scheduled liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., was postponed because of a problem with a fuel cutoff sensor system inside the shuttle's external fuel tank.

The fuel cutoff sensor system is one of several that protect the shuttle's main engines by triggering their shut down if fuel runs unexpectedly low. Launch Commit Criteria require that three of the four sensor systems function properly before liftoff.

Space Shuttle Program managers will hold a Mission Management Team meeting Friday at 2 p.m. to discuss the issue and determine the steps necessary to start a new launch countdown. A news conference will be held at about 5 p.m. after the meeting's conclusion.

On Thursday morning, two of the four engine cutoff, or ECO, sensors inside the liquid hydrogen section of the tank failed a routine prelaunch check. Following the launch postponement, the tank's liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen were drained. While the tank was being emptied, engineers monitored and collected data on the liquid hydrogen sensors that failed. During that process, another sensor gave a false reading, indicating that the tank was "wet," when it was dry. All ECO sensors are now indicating dry as they should be.

During Atlantis' 11-day mission to the International Space Station, the shuttle and station crews will work with ground teams to install and activate the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory. The new lab will expand the station's scientific research capabilities.

Source: NASA

Explore further: ExoMars 2016 targets March launch window

Related Stories

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 ...

Liquid Robotics launches quartet on epic swim across Pacific

November 26, 2011

( -- Four self propelling robots, called Wave Gliders,from the company Liquid Robotics were launched last week from San Francisco for a 33,000 nautical mile journey. The robots took off from the St. Francis Yacht ...

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.

UA engineer launches robotic planetary Lake Lander

March 19, 2012

( -- Wolfgang Fink of the University of Arizona department of electrical and computer engineering has developed an autonomous robotic lake lander that could be used to explore this planet and others.

Recommended for you

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...

Aging star's weight loss secret revealed

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding ...


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.