July 13, 2005
Launch to slip at least until Saturday
The launch of Discovery will not come before this weekend. Wayne Hale, deputy shuttle manager was quoted by CNN.com just after the decision was made to cancel today's launch as saying that NASA "would not in any conceivable way be ready to launch before Saturday."
That is now the official line, with a press release put out by NASA this evening stating: "NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Return to Flight mission (STS-114) no earlier than 2:40 p.m. EDT, Saturday, July 16."
Note that Space.com quoted NASA Administrator Michael Griffin as estimating a slightly more conservative timeframe; he apparently said that no launch would occur before Monday, July 18: "And that's only if we can localize the problem."
So it will probably be no sooner than the weekend, and possibly later. The most important thing is that NASA caught a potentially serious malfunction in time for it to make a difference. If readers know about the consequences of a fuel tank sensor error like this, please email this author at george @ nss.org.
Posted by george_whitesides at July 13, 2005 06:40 PM