NASA Delays STS-122 Again Pending Sensor Repair

By Keith Cowing
December 27, 2007
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NASA Delays STS-122 Again Pending Sensor Repair

NASA held a teleconference today with Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale with regard to repairs needed for STS-122. According to Hale “We have no launch date to talk about today”.

Hale said that NASA would attempt to do all required repairs to Atlantis’ External Tank on the launch pad. Hale expressed confidence that the repairs could be done in this fashion. However, if that is not possible, then a roll back to the VAB might be needed.

Atlantis was originally scheduled to launch in December. Its launch was delayed when fuel tank sensors failed to operate according to NASA’s requirements.

Just before Christmas NASA set a launch date no earlier than 10 January 2008 for STS-122. That date has now been removed from NASA’s calendar pending repairs Hale announced today. Hale responded to questions from reporters by stating that the new launch date may be “a few days to a few weeks from that 10 January date”.

Sensor components will be removed from Atlantis and sent to Marshall Space Flight Center for repairs to electrical connections.

The mission of Atlantis is to deliver the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory module to the International Space Station.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.