Leaky valves could delay space shuttle launch

Mar 15, 2010 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

(AP) -- Space shuttle Discovery has some leaky valves that could delay its launch next month.

NASA discovered the helium leaks over the weekend. The valves are part of a control system used to maneuver the shuttle in orbit and for re-entry.

spokesman Allard Beutel said Monday that engineers will conduct additional tests later this week, to see if they can live with the problem. If any valves need to be replaced, Discovery would have to be moved from the pad back into the Vehicle Assembly Building. That would result in a lengthy delay.

For now, Discovery is scheduled to blast off April 5 on a two-week supply mission to the . Only four shuttle missions remain.

Explore further: SpaceX picks up launch pace, sets April 27 commercial launch and May 5 Dragon pad abort test

More information: NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission-pages/shuttle

0 shares

Related Stories

NASA shooting for Sunday shuttle Discovery launch

Mar 12, 2009

(AP) -- NASA is replacing some space shuttle connections in hopes of plugging a gas leak and launching Discovery to the international space station on Sunday, after delays of more than a month.

NASA gets ready for another space mission

Mar 31, 2008

Now that the latest space shuttle Endeavour mission is completed, the U.S. space agency said it's preparing for the May launch of space shuttle Discovery.

NASA aims for March 12 space shuttle launch

Feb 26, 2009

NASA is aiming to launch the space shuttle Discovery next month after repeated delays caused by critical valves. Shuttle managers said Wednesday they hope to launch on March 12, a full month after the original launch date ...

Discovery scheduled for important move

May 01, 2006

NASA officials say an important milestone for the upcoming Space Shuttle Discovery mission will occur May 12, when the shuttle is moved from its hangar.

Recommended for you

The view from up there, down here

2 hours ago

When many people saw the first stunning photos of the fragile blue marble of Earth from space, it changed their outlook of humanity. It was a singular moment in time when people around the world were watching ...

The weird ways fire behaves in space (w/ Video)

4 hours ago

Light a match on earth and you can expect the flame to shoot up in a tapering bulb. But light that match in space and you might not even recognize the small, blue orb at the tip. That's because fire behaves ...

Russia loses comms with ISS cargo spacecraft (Update)

6 hours ago

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were left with a long wait Tuesday to get their latest food and fuel deliveries after an unmanned Russian supply ship lost communications following takeoff.

Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

18 hours ago

No matter how beautiful or crystal clear the bubbling waters of an oasis may be, they seldom lead to technology breakthroughs. Yet, NASA's OASIS investigation's bubbles may lead to an ocean of new improvements ...

User comments : 0

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.