Atlantis Launch Bumped to Sunday

NASA will try refueling tanks, to see if sensors reset themselves
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2007 7:12 AM CST
Liquid oxygen tankers line up along pad 39A ready to service the orbiter at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – NASA has pushed back the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis again, this time until tomorrow, at the earliest. The management team continued to wrestle with what to do about faulty fuel sensors; the cause of the problem is still eluding engineers after two days of study, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The Atlantis' fuel tanks will be refilled tomorrow, in the hopes that the sensors will reset themselves, project manager Wayne Haleee said.

The strategy worked in 2006 when the same problem occurred, Hale said. If all four of the sensors register properly, the launch will be a go. If even one malfunctions, they'll try again Monday—and then again Thursday. NASA will also implement new procedures for the crew to manually cut the engines and abort the flight if sensor problems are detected after liftoff, the Sentinel reports.