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NASA Space Science

Another Leak Delays Final Discovery Launch 104

Posted by timothy
from the find-the-leak-and-plug-it dept.
vsolepr writes "Today's scheduled launch was scrubbed because of a gaseous hydrogen leak near the spacecraft's external tank. This is the fourth time in the past week that Discovery's launch was delayed due to various leaks and electrical issues. NASA now is aiming for a launch date no earlier than Nov. 30."
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Another Leak Delays Final Discovery Launch

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  • by thewils (463314) on Friday November 05, 2010 @06:56PM (#34142888) Journal

    Blasted WikiLeaks!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jeffmeden (135043)

      Is it sad that this was my first thought, too? It seems that there is nothing we can't blame on WikiLeaks...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Sulphur (1548251)

        Is it sad that this was my first thought, too? It seems that there is nothing we can't blame on WikiLeaks...

        Gates, Jobs, Ellison...

    • by MarkRose (820682)

      Personally, I think NASA should simply stop hiring cellphone banking app engineers.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Man, you just gave me a delicious image of what Julian Assange should be strapped to when the count hits 0.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday November 05, 2010 @06:57PM (#34142890)
    That shuttle leaks more than:
    * Most diapers
    * FireFox memory
    * [insert government agency name here]
    * A guy with an enlarged prostate
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Another Dalek Lays Final Discovery Launch"

  • Another Columbia? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adosch (1397357) on Friday November 05, 2010 @07:38PM (#34143180)
    I think I'd be shaking in my boots if I was a Discovery bound astronaut. Although, I think it's a good thing their exhaustive checkout is finding more issues, it's a real drag to see NASA struggling to get one last launch of the Discovery and having such showstopper flaws. I understand that no amount of engineering or preparation can substitute the small amount of pure luck it is to have a successful space launch with all things considered, but you can't help but wonder if there wasn't such drastic funding cutbacks for NASA in space exploration and aeronautics if we'd be seeing a different, more positive outcome from the same reporting.
    • by MavEtJu (241979)

      I think I'd be shaking in my boots if I was a Discovery bound astronaut.

      If you didn't, then you don't understand what is happening at a launch :-)

      They called the Space Shuttle most complex mechanical machine ever built (these days the Large Hadron Collider has that award). John Glenn had his famous his famous quote about his Mercury spacecraft launch: "I was thinking that the rocket had twenty thousand components, and each was made by the lowest bidder".

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is this nasa's way of playing politics? As long as they don't lunch the shuttle program isn't over. There has just recently been a power switch in government so maybe they are waited to see what will happen than. It is also possible that all of these things are happening.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        I doubt it. Eleven days ago we had the 50th anniversary of a huge Russian launch accident where the ground staff were forced to continue in unsafe conditions at gunpoint. Around 126 people died including the idiot official with a gun.
        The possibility of the thing blowing up on the pad or later will be in the mind of everyone near it and they won't let mere politics get in the way of them doing their job like it did 50 years ago. It will go when they are ready.
  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday November 05, 2010 @08:11PM (#34143520)
    Even I start to leak more as I get older.
  • by superdana (1211758) on Friday November 05, 2010 @08:13PM (#34143540)
    Levar Burton has offered his assistance to NASA:
    http://twitter.com/levarburton/status/541379696533505 [twitter.com]
  • This is Suprising? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Friday November 05, 2010 @09:08PM (#34144192) Homepage

    This was the last external tank made at Michoud. As it rolled down the assembly line, everyone who worked on it did their particular task and then was laid off as soon as they were done.

    And people are shocked it's not particularly well made? Frankly, I think the astronauts taking this tank into orbit have to be nuts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tftp (111690)

      Frankly, I think the astronauts taking this tank into orbit have to be nuts.

      Right you are. That's why they will not take the tank to the orbit. It separates at T + 8 minutes 50 seconds, which is about 69 miles [lockheedmartin.com].

    • Here we have yet another example of the Eloi hate of the greasy Moorlocks that actually do stuff other than lounge around in a garden waiting to be eaten. Have you considered that the workers in question would actually be proud of their work and watch the launch with the joy of seeing the results of a job well done?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ga_101 (755815)
        Taking pride on one's work died round about the time that job security and pay that wasn't "How low can we get away with?" did.
        • In other words, pride in one's work never existed then. (Except in some fantasy yesterday where the things you cite were common. But that fantasy world isn't the real one.)

      • by sshir (623215)
        unfortunately rockets don't fly on pride. They fly on money...
        • by dbIII (701233)
          Silly boy. They fly on big bits of metal and a lot of fuel. The accountants just want to to think they fly on money so they can inflate their importance to a greater level than the scientists, engineers and technicians that actually build the things.
          It's like saying Al Gore invented the internet because he provided the money. Some people actually think that way but it is a delusion.
      • Here we have yet another example of the Eloi hate of the greasy Moorlocks that actually do stuff other than lounge around in a garden waiting to be eaten. Have you considered that the workers in question would actually be proud of their work and watch the launch with the joy of seeing the results of a job well done?

        Yep. The slacker slashdotter is incapable of imagining that any mindset but their own exists, let alone being capable of understanding it.

      • Have you considered that the workers in question would actually be proud of their work and watch the launch with the joy of seeing the results of a job well done?

        For most of the workers, this is probably true. But it only takes one or two who have 'clocked out early' to ruin something like this.

        And look at the evidence. If nothing had happened yet, you might have an argument that I'm just being overly cynical. But this thing is is leaking all over the place. After the THIRD launch scrub due to the ET l

        • by dbIII (701233)
          It is out of bounds until there is evidence. Think of it along the lines of you having a child that breaks a bone and somebody immediately accusing you of child abuse without any evidence.
          That's what your accusation of only one or two greasy worker scum slacking off sounds like and why it is offensive, especially since many of them are very likely to have levels of education, experience and skill far beyond yourself. It's NASA and a very specialised job so some of the guys with tools have doctorates or ha
          • How about a child who breaks bones on three seperate occasions in a period of two weeks?

            • by dbIII (701233)
              You are plucking at straws here by attacking an analogy to justify your contempt of these people.
  • by AJWM (19027) on Friday November 05, 2010 @09:11PM (#34144220) Homepage

    The vehicles are getting too old to fly, despite the overhauls they get after every mission. Even the disposable parts (like the tank) because of attrition in the skilled workforce that built them.

    Not that we haven't known this was coming for longer than it took to go from a standing start to men walking on the Moon, but too many managers have been more concerned with protecting their turf than ensuring continued manned access to space.

    • Not that we haven't known this was coming for longer than it took to go from a standing start to men walking on the Moon

      Except we never went from a standing start - unless you count the standing start as being around the early to mid 50's. When President Kennedy set us on the path to the moon every single major component of the Apollo program was already under development.

      too many managers have been more concerned with protecting their turf than ensuring continued manned access to space.

      Protip: th

      • by AJWM (19027)

        Yep, even from a mid-50s standing start. Fifteen years to get to the Moon. We've known that we'd have to retire the Shuttles for almost 25 years, when the replacement for Challenger was built partly using long-lead-time spares that were not replaced.

        When program managers wail to their congresscritters about how many jobs will be "lost", guess where said congresscritters decide to devote funds. Do most congress people know much about space technology development? No. Who are they going to listen to? T

        • Yep, even from a mid-50s standing start. Fifteen years to get to the Moon. We've known that we'd have to retire the Shuttles for almost 25 years, when the replacement for Challenger was built partly using long-lead-time spares that were not replaced.

          *yawn* You're powers of mathematics are impressive. Your actual knowledge of the world, much less so. (Short version: you're an idiot. We knew the Shuttle would eventually retire before we even started building them.)

          When program managers wail to the

          • by AJWM (19027)

            You're [sic] powers of mathematics are impressive.

            Your powers of English grammar are much less so.

            But now that you've managed to argue yourself in circles, I'll declare victory and withdraw from the field. Have a nice day.

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