NASA Conducting New Tanking Test

    May 19, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

With the shuttle Discovery scheduled for a July launch, engineers focus on earlier fueling test issues.

NASA engineers plan to conduct another tanking test on shuttle Discovery before removing the craft from the launch pad back to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral.

Two safety issues arose during safety testing in April. One involved intermittent readings from the liquid hydrogen sensors in the external fuel tank. Those sensors indicate fuel level in the tank.

The other issue concerned a liquid hydrogen pressure relief valve, which helps keep the correct temperature in the tank. Continual cycling of the valve occurred during the first test.

NASA wants to ensure its “Return To Flight” happens as safely as possible. The initial launch window was pushed back by two months amid safety concerns, and NASA likely would move it again if necessary.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.