NASA Scraps Second Launch Attempt

POSTED: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 6:15am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm

El Pasoan Danny Olivas and his fellow astronauts will have to wait, again.

Engineers were in the middle of filling Discovery's huge external fuel tank, when the countdown stopped.

A valve that controls the flow of fuel was stuck.

It's a critical part that NASA had no desire to take a chance on.

"The concern would be that you have to have it closed for flight.

This is a filling drain valve and you don't want it to get stuck in a position where it's closed because you cannot drain the tank that way," said Mike Moses with mission management.

A fix could take more time to figure out, so NASA will stand down until at least Friday to see if discovery will be safe to fly.

Ironically on the first launch attempt yesterday, the valve worked fine.

The astronauts were all strapped in, but it was stormy weather that forced the scrub that time.

The delays are now pushing NASA against some tight deadlines.

If the shuttle doesn't lift off by August 30th, the launch will slide to October because of conflicts with Russian and Japanese rockets headed to the space station.

But the soon to retire shuttle is the only one who can carry the massive logistics model filled with science racks and a new sleeping compartment-key to completion of the huge space station.

Stay with NewsChannel 9 for updates.

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