Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Discovery Space Shuttle is due to launchTuesday

Image credit: NASA/KSC
Discovery Space Shuttle is due to launchTuesday

The Discovery is expected to start on Tuesday, July 26th 2005 if the weather allows it.
It will be at 10:39 on Tuesday morning to be precisely. That is the exact time the Columbia launched 2 years ago. Must be because of the same routine on shuttle launches.

Israel's first spaceman, Ilan Ramon, was aboard NASA's oldest orbiter as the vehicle lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center right on time at 10:39 a.m. EST (1539 GMT).


Originally targeted for launch in July 2001, the astronauts and scientists involved with STS-107 -- NASA's designation for the mission -- have had to endure lengthy schedule delays caused by fleet-grounding technical problems and higher priority shuttle flights.

Columbia's voyage -- the 28th flight for the orbiter and the 113th for the shuttle program -- is the first flight not going to the International Space Station since the same shuttle hosted a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission in March 2002.


The engineers have not yet found a cause for the failure of 1 of the 4 fuel level indicators. In tests in April 2005 the same failure has occured and has been filed as unpredictable fluctuation dureing tests. It may have been a too weak grounding. According to officials at least only 1 sensor needs to work properly to control the engines properly. The other sensors are to ensure redundancy. The rule that all 4 sensors need to work before liftoff was 1 consequence of the Challenger catastrophe.
If all goes right, the Discovers Space Shuttle will supply The ISS with food and repair equipment.
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