Friday, October 29, 2010
NASA has delayed the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery by at least one day to allow technicians to repair two leaks at the tail section of the orbiter.
"Managers are meeting to discuss the plan to repair helium and nitrogen leaks in the pressurization portion of Discovery’s right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System pod," NASA's Kennedy Space Center stated this morning. "The leaks must be fixed before launch and the decision was made to delay picking up the launch countdown by at least a day".
The leaks on the OMS pod were discovered during prelaunch checks last night. The launch team performed several tests to trouble shoot the two leaks before deciding to delay the start of the launch countdown.
If the leak fixes are successful, NASA on Saturday will start the countdown for the 133rd space shuttle flight at 2 PM EDT on Saturday.
Discovery's one day delay will target launch for Tuesday afternoon at 4:17:56 pm -- the opening of a five minute launch window.
Jeff Spaulding, NASA test director for STS-133, states that the work to make the repairs will take around 16 hours.
Air Force meteorologist Kath Winters stated this morning that "moisture from the south" due to a strong low pressure trough will influence the Space Coast's weather on Tuesday.
Due to a low cloud ceiling and and rain showers off shore, there is a 70% chance for favorable weather at launch time on Tuesday.