Endeavour Launch Scrubbed Today
The hydrogen leak which has been troubling the shuttle fleet, causing prior launch delays on two shuttle missions, caused today’s launch of the space shuttle Endeavour to be pushed back until approximately July 11th. With the planned launch of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on Thursday or Friday time was of the essence in the Endeavour launch and NASA simply was unable to take advantage of the available launch window.
NASA engineers attempted the fix that worked for a prior leak, replacing a seal in the gaseous hydrogen vent line umbilical plate. Initially, the fix seemed to work, but the amount of hydrogen leaking was above allowable limits. With the launch delayed until at least July 11th, it is likely that the next shuttle launch, currently scheduled for August 7th, will also be delayed.