Space Shuttle Discovery Leak Delays Launch to Tuesday, November 2


Marc Boucher Reporting from the Kennedy Space Center - NASA briefed the media this morning on the helium and nitrogen leaks found last night in the pressurization portion of space shuttle Discovery's right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pod.

Technicians tried unsuccessfully overnight to repair the leak. They found "some sealing material that should not have been there" according to NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding. A decision was made to change out both the flight side and ground side of the couplings. Another minor issue with a nitrogen coupling on the ground side was found as well. Repairs which are not considered complicated will be conducted this afternoon. Afterwards leak checks will be conducted to make sure Discovery is ready to fly. The biggest issue with the repair is the venting of the Orbital Maneuvering System tanks and their repressurization. The repressurization takes about 16 hours and is the main reason the launch has been postponed a day. This is not the first time this type of issue has happened at the pad. The launch of space shuttle Discovery is now targeted for Tuesday, November 2 at 4:17 p.m. EDT.

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