NASA fuels shuttle Atlantis in last-launch test

Jun 15, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

(AP) -- NASA is fueling space shuttle Atlantis. But it's only a test.

The last launch of the shuttle program isn't until July 8. But shuttle managers want to make sure that repairs to the are good and that no cracks pop up in any support brackets.

Ground controllers began pumping a half-million gallons of super cold fuel into Atlantis' tank Wednesday. The three-hour operation was delayed several hours by thunderstorms that pounded Cape Canaveral on Tuesday. Three lightning strikes were reported near the pad. Preliminary checks show nothing was damaged, although a power circuit went offline.

Last November, fuel tank cracks kept grounded for four months for repairs. The same kind of patches were used for Atlantis.

Explore further: Elon Musk gets fresh challenge with space contract

More information: NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA to hold briefing on Discovery launch

Jan 11, 2011

NASA said Tuesday it would hold a press briefing to discuss the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which has been postponed indefinitely to allow engineers to repair cracks on its fuel tank.

US space shuttle Discovery fuel tank is loaded

Feb 24, 2011

NASA completed fueling the space shuttle Discovery Thursday, several hours ahead of its final launch to the International Space Station scheduled for 4:50 pm (2150 GMT).

NASA to test shuttle Discovery repairs Friday

Dec 16, 2010

NASA will run a series of fuel tank tests on the shuttle Discovery Friday to see if repairs have successfully fixed a series of cracks that have thwarted the mission's final run to space.

NASA Aims for 4 Shuttle Flights in 2007

Apr 17, 2007

NASA has announced a revised launch schedule for the upcoming Space Shuttle missions. The revised schedule follows a review of repairs to the insulation on the Shuttle's external fuel tank, which was damaged ...

NASA finds more cracks on Discovery fuel tank

Dec 31, 2010

NASA said Thursday it has found four more small cracks on the metal supports of the shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank, as the aging shuttle undergoes X-ray testing before its final space mission next ...

Recommended for you

Video: MAVEN set to slide into orbit around Mars

7 hours ago

A NASA mission to Mars led by the University of Colorado Boulder is set to slide into orbit around the red planet this week after a 10-month, 442-million mile chase through the inner solar system. 

Dawn operating normally after safe mode triggered

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The Dawn spacecraft has resumed normal ion thrusting after the thrusting unexpectedly stopped and the spacecraft entered safe mode on September 11. That anomaly occurred shortly before a planned ...

Repaired Opportunity rover readies for 'Marathon Valley'

7 hours ago

With a newly cleared memory, it's time for Opportunity to resume the next stage of its long, long Martian drive. The next major goal for the long-lived rover is to go to Marathon Valley, a spot that (in images ...

Image: Rainbow aurora captured from space station

10 hours ago

Auroras occur when particle radiation from the Sun hits Earth's upper atmosphere, making it glow in a greenish blue light. ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst has one of our planet's best views of this phenomenon, ...

Experts: Mystery fireball was Russian satellite

13 hours ago

People from New Mexico to Montana saw the bright object break apart as it moved slowly northward across the night sky. Witnesses described it as three "rocks" with glowing red and orange streaks.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jun 15, 2011
Good luck to all... And try not to explode if you don't want to...