Shuttle Launch Date May Be Hosed

An errant cooling system hose on the Tranquility node which failed during a test may delay the planned February 7th launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour to the ISS on the STS-130 mission. The hose ruptured during the test, causing no damage to the payload but necessetating a repair and further tests. There is already a week of built-in buffer time to cater for just such an event, but NASA isn't sure if this is enough time to complete the repair and remain on track for the scheduled launch time. Analysis of the failure will continue over the next few days before an announcement is made on its impact on the launch date.

Artists conception of Tranquility installed on ISS

Engineers at Kennedy continue to prepare Endeavour for launch as Florida is still enduring unusually cold temperatures. Pre-launch propellant testing will continue until Thursday. Meanwhile, the six astronaut crew continues final training and preparations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. At the moment they are reviewing equipment that will be used during the mission and practicing rendezvous procedures with the ISS in simulators.

Icicles form on a handrail at launch pad 39A

Keep an eye on Spacers for STS-130 udates.

Images credit: NASA
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