Space shuttle launch delayed until after Thanksgiving

Shuttle Launch

The Shuttle Launch has been delayed again, until at least Nov. 30. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The space shuttle launch originally scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 3, has been delayed until the end of November. The shuttle Discovery launch was delayed initially for a leak of hydrogen, but further examination has revealed more problems. The mission is tentatively rescheduled for Nov. 30. There have been similar problems before. The launch of the shuttle Discovery will be the last flight for the craft.

Shuttle launch delayed by gas leak

The shuttle Discovery was slated to launch on Wednesday, Nov. 3 and dock with the International Space Station, but was delayed when NASA engineers discovered a leak of hydrogen gas from the fuel tank, according to Fox News. This came after a delay until Friday, Nov. 5, due to bad weather. Liquid hydrogen is a fuel for NASA rockets, but the fuel gives off gaseous hydrogen as it is difficult maintaining the temperature of liquid hydrogen, almost 450 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. The Discovery launch was initially delayed for several days, but NASA engineers and technicians believe the problem to be too deep seated for a quick fix. The leak was discovered during the “tanking” procedure, where the distinct orange fuel tank is filled with liquid hydrogen and oxygen.

Final flight of Discovery

The Shuttle launch schedule has two more entries to scratch off the list. Only two flights of the Space Shuttle will be made before the program is officially over. The Discovery launch will be the final flight of the Discovery orbiter, which is the longest serving shuttle in existence. The last flight of the space shuttle program will be a launch of the shuttle Endeavour. Both missions are to the International Space Station.

Launch delayed until after Thanksgiving

The proposed date of the next NASA launch is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30. The reason why the leak occurred is still being determined, and NASA does not want to send a shuttle into space without knowing for sure. The shuttle program was scuttled by then president George W. Bush in the wake of the explosion of the shuttle Columbia.

Sources

Fox News

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