May 7, 2011

Endeavour Launch Delayed Until May 16

NASA said on Friday that the final launch for space shuttle Endeavour has been delayed until at least May 16.

The space agency said, "NASA managers met Friday afternoon and determined space shuttle Endeavour will launch no earlier than Monday, May 16 at 8:56 am."

It said technicians would continue repairs and retesting of the electric circuitry that caused NASA to postpone the April 29 launch date just hours before liftoff.

The glitch has been traced to a power problem in the aft load control assembly-2, which is a box of switches that control electrical flow to heaters that keep fuel lines from freezing while in space.

NASA spokeswoman Candrea Thomas said in a statement that testing will be conducted throughout the weekend to find out if the circuitry problem was in the old box or somewhere in the external wiring that is still in the shuttle.

Endeavour will be the second-to-last shuttle flight for the ending program.

During its final mission, the space shuttle will carry a $2.0-billion, seven-ton particle physics detector.

Astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, will command the 14-day mission.


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