Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Success! No Hydrogen Leaks Detected Today

NASA's space shuttle launch team spent this morning performing leak checks on a newly repaired valve seal on the side of the external fuel tank which had leaked gaseous hydrogen during to launch attempts in June.

At 1PM EDT, NASA will hold a press briefing to announce the launch teams early finding from today's GH2 leak check. Early news from here at the Kennedy Space Center shows no mid to high margin of leakage from the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, which attaches the hydrogen vent arm to the rust-colored external tank.

The GUCP began leaking high to moderate levels of unsafe GH2 during the two Endeavour launch attempts in mid-June. The vent arm carries most of the evaporated liquid hydrogen away from the launch pad so that the shuttle main engines and later solid rocket boosters can ignite without risk of explosion.

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