NASA Orders Cabin Leak Fix for Shuttle Endeavour
The dawn sky over the Atlantic Ocean reveals Space Shuttle Endeavour sitting on Launch Pad 39A after rollout as it is prepared for a planned August 2007 launch after a major overhaul.
CREDIT: NASA/George Shelton.
NASA?s shuttle Endeavour remains on track for its planned launch next week after engineers pinned down the source of a leak inside the orbiter?s crew cabin, the space agency said Wednesday.
Shuttle workers had been tracing the elusive leak since the weekend as they readied Endeavour for its planned Aug. 7 launch from Pad 39A at NASA?s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
?The problem has been traced to one of two positive pressure relief valves which assure that the crew cabin does not become over-pressurized,? said George Diller, a NASA spokesperson at KSC, in a status update.
Engineers will swap out the faulty valve with a working one taken from Endeavour?s sister ship Atlantis during a fix that is expected to be complete by Thursday.
?There is no impact to the space shuttle?s Aug. 7 launch date,? Diller said of the repair.
Mission managers also opted not to replace thermostats in one of Endeavour?s auxiliary power units found to be returning off-nominal signals, NASA officials said. The glitch is not violating operational specifications and is understood by engineers, they added.
Endeavour?s seven STS-118 astronauts are due to arrive at the launch site Friday, with the planned space shot?s countdown set to begin at 9:00 p.m. EDT (0100 Aug. 5 GMT). Commanded by veteran shuttle flyer Scott Kelly, Endeavour?s STS-118 mission will deliver a fresh load of cargo, spare parts and a new piece of starboard-side truss to the International Space Station.
The up-to-14 day mission will also mark the first flight for educator astronaut Barbara Morgan, an Idaho schoolteacher who first began astronaut training in 1985 as the backup for high school teacher Christa McAuliffe during NASA?s Teacher in Space Program. McAuliffe and six NASA astronauts later died in January 1986 when their space shuttle Challenger broke apart just after launch.
Endeavour?s STS-118 mission will mark NASA?s second of up to four shuttle flights planned for this year.
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