Related News

Home » World

NASA calls off launch of Endeavour

NASA canceled the launch of space shuttle Endeavour yesterday for the second time after a potentially dangerous hydrogen gas leak surfaced during fueling of the ship.

An identical problem stymied a launch attempt on Saturday. Technicians had replaced seals in a hydrogen vent line in hopes of stemming the leak.

The next opportunity to launch Endeavour will be on July 11, a NASA official said.

Endeavour had been scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:40am EDT yesterday on a 16-day mission to install a Japanese-built porch on the International Space Station.

NASA had first hoped to launch Endeavour last Saturday but sensors detected dangerous levels of hydrogen gas escaping from a vent line and the launch was halted. A similar problem occurred during an attempt to launch sister ship Discovery in March.

The vent line removes hydrogen that has turned from liquid to gas inside the shuttle's fuel tank. The gas is funneled to a flare stack away from the shuttle and safely incinerated.

Since hydrogen is so volatile, the United States-based space agency has tight safety restrictions on how much gas can be outside the shuttle.

NASA is trying to finish building and outfitting the International Space Station by September 30, 2010, so it can retire the shuttle fleet and move on to developing a new spaceship that can carry astronauts to the moon and other destinations beyond low-Earth orbit.



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend