Feeds

Fuel sensor glitch delays Atlantis launch

Lift-off now pencilled for Saturday

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The launch of space shuttle Atlantis has been delayed until tomorrow (Saturday) at the earliest after the failure of two of four sensors which monitor liquid hydrogen levels in the vessel's fuel tank, Reuters reports.

The glitch was spotted during routine checks as the tank was being filled with fuel. The offending sensors form part of a back-up safety system which shut down the shuttle's main engines once the ship reaches space, or "if a problem occurs after liftoff".

NASA explained: "On Thursday morning, two of the four engine cutoff, or ECO, sensors inside the liquid hydrogen section of the tank failed a routine prelaunch check. Following the launch postponement, the tank's liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen were drained.

"While the tank was being emptied, engineers monitored and collected data on the liquid hydrogen sensors that failed. During that process, another sensor gave a false reading, indicating that the tank was 'wet', when it was dry. All ECO sensors are now indicating dry as they should be."

Atlantis has a launch window extending to 13 December, and when it eventually gets off the ground will carry the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the ISS.

US astronauts commander Stephen Frick, pilot Alan Poindexter, flight engineer Rex Walheim, Leland Melvin and Stanley Love will be joined by Germany's Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts of France on the 11-day mission. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.