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Shuttle Discovery Back In The Shop

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Though currently on the launch pad during mock countdowns, the space shuttle Discovery will be taken down and returned to the assembly building for adjustments on the fuel tank.

“We can’t fly with anything that’s an unacceptable risk,” said crew commander Eileen Collins.

She and her six-member crew were at Kennedy Space Center to take part in a practice countdown for the mission aboard Discovery, now scheduled for a launch window in mid-July.

NASA managers decided last week to postpone the launch date, originally scheduled for May 22, after engineering tests revealed still present vulnerabilities to ice damage.

Ice is a potentially dangerous byproduct of the super chilled liquid hydrogen and oxygen propellants.

In an attempt to avoid a tragedy similar to Columbia’s reentry breakup in 2003, engineers will be looking for a way to prevent ice from breaking off and striking the ship during launch.

The Discovery crew said they would use the extra time for further training and as some time to relax

Shuttle Discovery Back In The Shop
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