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13 June 2009

Astronomy: Endeavour Launch Scrubbed!

As the spent upper stage of NASA's Lunar Recon...Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Endeavour's launch has been scrubbed! The STS-127 mission is now off. (After such a good write-up on Thursday, sigh...)

What happened to scrub the launch and mission? While the external tank was being filled with hydrogen, apparently a leak developed. From the mission managers, "the leak occurred at eerily the same time in the tanking process as it did with the STS-119 mission." Who said superstition and science still don't mix? :) Actually, they think it may be due to the cycling of the valves.

They still have a couple of chances to launch before the 17th. Otherwise they will have to stand down, as I mentioned in my Thursday post, in favor of an unmanned launch, LCROSS. LCROSS stands for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Well, I bet there are some seriously ticked off astronauts right now...! Better disappointed than badly injured or dead. The secondary launch windows are still open for Sunday or Monday, weather permitting. Let's hope for the best!

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