Status Report

NASA Delays Shuttle Launch Another 24 Hours Due to Fuel Cell Concerns

By SpaceRef Editor
September 6, 2006
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NASA Delays Shuttle Launch Another 24 Hours Due to Fuel Cell Concerns

At a 6 p.m. briefing on Wednesday, NASA’s STS-115 Mission Management Team announced that because of the fuel cell anomaly it would be prudent to spend another 24 hours to research the issue. The management team will meet again at 1 p.m. on Thursday to assess the data gathered about the fuel cell issue and decide whether the launch will take place on Friday.

“We want to fly a good mission, we want to fly a safe mission, we want to have a successful mission,” said Wayne Hale, space shuttle program director.

Hale reported that more tests and analysis would be necessary because there has been no previous failure of this nature in the history of the program.

Deputy Orbiter Project Manager, Ed Mango said “We put together a huge amount of data, but it’s not complete yet. We have to put all the data on the table and look at it.” Mango also reported that the signature reading on the fuel cell cooling pump had never been seen before. “We’ll need more time to understand what this signature really means,” he said.

Weather Officer Lt. Col. Patrick Barrett reported that for a Friday launch day, Kennedy will experience much the same weather conditions as earlier this week. There may be some upper level clouds coming into the area during the early morning hours and a 30 percent chance of weather prohibiting launch continues over the next few days.

SpaceRef staff editor.