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Endeavour 'in good shape' for Wednesday lift-off

NASA tempts fate as techies tackle hydrogen leak

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NASA is tempting fate by describing space shuttle Endeavour as "in good shape" for lift-off tomorrow on its STS-127 mission to the International Space Station, having used pretty well the same words before a gaseous hydrogen leak caused the original launch to be scrubbed on Saturday.

Endeavour on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center. Pic: NASANASA explains that technicians have been tackling the bothersome systerm "used to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad" and have "removed and replaced the ground umbilical carrier panel and seal, and repair work should be complete by 3pm [EDT, or 19:00 GMT] Tuesday".

NASA Test Director Steve Payne said today: "Our teams have been working very hard over the last couple of days to get this piece of equipment fixed. Endeavour is in good shape and the teams are excited to be back to working toward a launch on Wednesday morning."

The weather's looking good for tomorrow at the Kennedy Space Center, with an 80 per cent chance of favourable conditions for the 09:40 GMT launch.

Endeavour will deliver the final components of Japan's Kibo lab to the ISS. The 16-day mission will feature five spacewalks. ®

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