Sunday, March 15, 2009

Will the Shuttle ever launch again - maybe?

NASA will once again try to launch space shuttle Discovery on the latest construction trip to the ISS(International Space Station) 220 miles above Earth. Lift-off is set for 7:43pm Sunday evening from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The meteorologist as predicting that there will be a 80 percent chance that the weather will be suitable for launch tonight.

Problems have been plaguing this launch. One was the satellite collision last month and they had to check the debris orbits to see if it would be safe for a launch. Engineers also had to replace seals in fuel vent line. Hydrogen gas began to leak from the shuttle's fuel tank which is a potential fire hazard. While the seals were replaced, the cause for the leak is still unknown according to the news article posted by Irene Klotz (March 15, 2009, 11:36am EDT).

NASA is up against a time schedule to avoid a conflict with a Russian Soyuz mission that will replace the station's primary crew on April 7, 2009.

This mission's cargo is the fourth and final solar power module for the U.S. section of the station. That solar panel module weighs in at 16 tones and is to complete the 11-segment exterior backbone or spine of the space station. This is to be the first of five missions to the space station this year for the space shuttle.
UPDATE: Well- Discovery managed to lift-off after all.


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