Shuttle Postpones Tryout of Tank

Delaying Discovery‘s last trip to February pressed Endeavour’s last begin to April, but NASA silent could soar one extra assignment to the International Space Station facing shuttle fleet departure, bureaucrats said Friday.

Engineers can’t shape out the origin reason of little breaks in Discovery’s outside boiler, so NASA is previous start chances Dec. 17-20.

NASA currently aspires to start Discovery involving Feb. 3 and 10. Endeavour is scheduled to start on April 1. An extra assignment silent could explode off on June 28.

Delaying Discovery

Engineers in the next two months will do examinations to make sure what reasoned the breaks is fine unspoken and Discovery’s repaired tank is safe to fly.

“Psychoanalysis is not going to obtain us near,” NASA shuttle agenda boss John Shannon said. “It’s point to go experiment.”

Detection will stay at its Kennedy Space Center start protection. A propellant-loading examination is hesitantly listed for delayed December.

Damage measures and hotness sensors will be located on 21-foot-long metal supports on the mid-section of Discovery’s 15-story tank. The ribbed section attaches the fluid hydrogen and fluid oxygen crafts in the inferior and higher fractions of the boiler.

Engineers establish four breaks on two of the supports named “stringers” — following a Nov. 5 open rub. A gaseous hydrogen seep out stopped a first Discovery open effort. The breaks were established through following examinations.

NASA too means to do pressure examinations on mock-ups at its outside boiler developed ability in New Orleans.

Shannon said, “It’s unlucky that we’re not building the December open casement, but we desire to create certain that we do this precisely correct.”

NASA mended the fractured supports on Discovery’s boiler, and no extra imperfections were exposed through following examinations. Wide psychoanalyses have been executed, and engineers believe the supports may have fractured throughout the weighting of super-cold propellant. But the imperfections also may have cropped up through developed, meeting or transportation.