[UPDATE] Fuel Leak Halts Launch of Space Shuttle

By: AP
By: AP
NASA has called off Friday

The Associated Press
The Space Shuttle Discovery, seen at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., is scheduled to launch Monday on a mission to the International Space Station.

[UPDATE] 11-5 1:05PM --

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) --

The launch of space shuttle Discovery is off until the end of the month.

A leak cropped up during fueling for Friday's planned liftoff (Nov. 5). NASA initially delayed the launch until at least Monday. But by early afternoon, it was clear that more time was needed to fix the problem.

NASA is now targeting Nov. 30 for Discovery's final liftoff. The
space agency has to wait until then because of unacceptable solar
angles for most of November. Those sun angles would cause the
shuttle to overheat while docked to the station.

This is the fourth delay in a week for Discovery's mission to
the International Space Station. Three of the four were for
technical problems, and one was for stormy weather.

----------------------------

[UPDATE] 11-5 10am --

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) --

A potentially-dangerous gas leak has forced another delay in the final launch of Discovery.

The hydrogen leak popped up as NASA fueled the space shuttle for
a planned afternoon liftoff. It means means no further launch
attempts until at least Monday. And the shuttle launch director
says even that may be too much to hope for.

This is the latest -- and most serious -- problem to hit NASA's
oldest and most-traveled shuttle in the past week.

A less serious version of the same leak affected two shuttle
missions last year. Both times, it took four days to fix. Monday is
only three days away. After that, NASA's launch window to the
International Space Station closes until the end of the month.

----------------------------

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) --

NASA has called off Friday's launch attempt for space shuttle Discovery because of a fuel leak.

Hydrogen gas began leaking Friday morning, midway through the
fueling process. NASA says it's the same type of problem that
delayed two shuttle missions last year. It's considered a serious
problem because of the flammability of hydrogen gas.

NASA says the next launch attempt will be no earlier than
Sunday. It's possible, though, the flight may be off until
December.

If Discovery isn't flying by Sunday, its trip to the
International Space Station will have to wait until the beginning
of next month because of unacceptable solar angles.

It's the final mission for Discovery as NASA closes down the
shuttle program.


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