Feeds

Space shuttle launch knocked back again

Pesky fuel sensor woes continue

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Pesky fuel sensors have forced NASA to put back the launch of space shuttle Atlantis beyond the current target date of 10 January, Reuters reports.

The offending sensors - which monitor liquid hydrogen levels in the vessel's fuel tank - have twice caused cancelled lift-offs. Of the first incident in early December, 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."

NASA subsequently proposed splicing jumper cables into "about 100 feet of wiring that runs between fuel sensors in the shuttle's tank and the ship's engine compartment", and reckons it's now identified the problem - a "two-sided, plug-like connector" which relays electrical signals from the sensors.

NASA will remove the suspect part on Saturday and send it off for testing at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Engineers, meanwhile have suggested that if the fault can't be traced, they can simply dispense with the connector altogether and solder the wires in place.

The upshot of the latest episode in the sensor saga is that the launch of Atlantis will be put back by "a few days to a few weeks", according to programme manager Wayne Hale. He told reporters: "We need to get the problem resolved. Then we'll look at schedules." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.