Thursday, April 15, 2010

Leonardo Nears Undocking from Station after Delay

Flight controllers in Houston and astronauts aboard the International Space Station worked long and hard today to understand the cause of a latching issue which kept a cargo module from returning to the payload bay of shuttle Discovery.

The Leonardo cargo module was due to unberth from the space station this morning. However, "strange electronic readings" and a sheered screw forced NASA's Mission Control to delay the move via the station's robotic arm.

The area in question is in a region between the module and the station's Harmony module called the common berthing mechanism.

The CBM has four controller panel assemblies with 16 bolts total to help drive in the module for a hard dock and a tight seal to pressurize Leonardo.

The CPA #3 is a black and gray box which was found to have a sheered screw.

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