May 16th, Earliest Endeavour Could Launch
by: Carrie Feibel, May 6, 2011 9:05:00 pm
At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, a technician inside space shuttle Endeavour's aft section is testing the Load Control Assembly-2 (LCA-2) for replacement. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.
NASA engineers now know that there was a short circuit inside an electronics box on board Endeavour.
But they’re still not sure why that happened.
Nevertheless, they’ve replaced the entire box. And they’ve also decided to place additional wiring between the box and some heaters for the hydraulics system.
The heaters are where the problem first revealed itself.
Kyle Haring is a NASA spokesman:
“Since we haven’t identified the formal root cause of the failure inside the box, the electronics box, adding this additional wiring is going to take a little bit longer.”
May 16 is not yet the official launch date for Endeavour. It’s just the earliest date that Endeavour could take off, given the current pace of repairs.
But Haring admits that even if Endeavour launches exactly on May 16, and no later, it could push into the schedule for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the very last shuttle flight.
“It’s definitely a tight schedule, a lot of things have to break the right away. But you know we’re not racing a clock with Atlantis’s launch. Our focus is to launch Endeavour safely and then process Atlantis for that last flight.”
For now, Atlantis is still scheduled to launch June 28.
NASA promises an update Monday with more information on the Endeavour repairs.
From the KUHF Health Science and Technology Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.