Leaks Delay Shuttle Mission at Least a Day

A leak in Discovery's OMS pod has delayed the launch by at least a single day. Photo Credit: AmericaSpace/Jason Rhian

CAPE CANAVERAL – The space shuttle Discovery has developed a leak unrelated to the leak that workers repaired a few days ago. This latest leak has pushed back the launch to at least a day to no-earlier-than Nov. 2 at 4:17 p.m. EDT. Engineers were running tests when the leaks occurred, tried to repair them – but weren’t entirely successful.

Although the leaks were not related to the previous one, they also occurred in the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pods located on either side of the orbiter’s tail section. The leaks are from the hydrogen and helium seals that are used to pressurize the shuttle’s fuel lines. The shuttle cannot launch until these leaks are repaired. The two leaks appeared on the right OMS pod.

NASA has a firm understanding of the nature of these leaks and is confident they can be easily fixed.

This will be the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery, her 39th mission and the 133 of the shuttle program. It is an 11-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The crew of this mission include Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott, Tim Kopra and Michael Barratt. They will deliver the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier-4 and the first humanoid robot to fly into space – Robonaut-2.

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