Thursday, December 27, 2007

STS-122 Won't Launch January 10 Either

From NASA:

Dec. 27

The Space Shuttle Program met Thursday to assess the progress made to troubleshoot an issue with the engine cutoff sensor circuit that occurred during the recent launch attempts and tanking test. Instrumentation installed for the tanking test indicate that there are one or more intermittent open circuits in the area of the feed through connector on the external tank’s liquid hydrogen tank.

The external parts of the connector will be removed and replaced with others that have been strategically soldered to ensure pin-to-socket connectivity and allow continuous electrical flow from sensors inside the external tank to the shuttle's computers.

This work will take some time to properly accomplish and to certify the redesigned configuration before flight. While a launch on Jan. 10 is no longer achievable, no launch date has been discussed. The program will take time to assess progress of the work before setting a target launch date.

This situation has put a major bottleneck into the ISS work flow. Things will be up in the air, no pun intended, for quite some time.