Shuttle Discovery Launch Possible On 4th – Video Space News - AeroSpace News Shuttle Discovery Launch Possible On 4th – Video Space News - AeroSpace News
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Shuttle Discovery Launch Possible On 4th – Video Space News

The July 4th launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery is still a "go" while concern lingers over a piece of foam that fell from the orbiter's external tank after the two prior attempts were scrubbed at the Kennedy Space Center.

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Discovery's a "Go" for Independence Day
After analysis of available data, the Mission Management Team has given a "go" for Tuesday's launch of Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station.

During a routine inspection overnight after the draining of the external fuel tank, a crack was discovered in the foam near a bracket that holds the liquid oxygen feedline in place. It is believed that the rain experienced during yesterday's launch attempt caused water to run down the feedline and form ice near the top of the strut next to the feedline bracket. As the tank warmed and expanded, the ice that formed most likely pinched the foam on the top of the strut, causing a crack and eventual loss of the small piece of foam. The Mission Management Team met Monday at 6:30 p.m. EDT to discuss the results of the infomation before making a final decision regarding Tuesday's launch attempt.

Currently, there is a 60 percent chance of favorable launch weather for tomorrow and a 40 percent chance of favorable weather for Wednesday according to Air Force First Lt. Kaleb Nordgren of the 45th Weather Squadron. If the weather cooperates this will be the first Independence Day launch of a space shuttle.

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