NASA has yet again postponed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, which was due to launch today, because of a hydrogen leak in the vent line between the external fuel tank and main engines. The vent line is at the intertank region of the external tank and is the overboard vent to the pad and the flare stack where the vented hydrogen is burned off.
The Shuttle launch has been delayed for over a month now all due to an engine issue that we reported last month.
The NASA launch team is resetting to preserve the option of attempting a Thursday night liftoff at 8:54 p.m. EDT depending on what repairs are needed and what managers decide. The Mission Management Team is meeting at 5 p.m. today to discuss the issue.
Discovery’s STS-119 flight will deliver the space station’s fourth and final set of solar array wings, completing the stations truss, or backbone. The arrays will provide the electricity to fully power science experiments and support the station’s expanded crew of six in May. The 14-day mission will feature four spacewalks to help install the S6 truss segment to the starboard, or right, side of the station and the deployment of its solar arrays. The flight also will replace a failed unit for a system that converts urine to potable water.