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Submission + - Shuttle launch delayed again, possibly until Dec. (

An anonymous reader writes: NASA engineers worked overnight trying to fix the electrical problem that forced the launch of space shuttle Discovery to be delayed again.

Mission managers will meet later Wednesday to figure out if a launch on Thursday is even possible.

The tentative plan is to have Discovery lift off Thursday at 3:29pm. If that does not happen it would be rescheduled for Sunday. If it cannot launch Sunday then it will have to wait until December.

NASA engineers have a lot of work their hands Wednesday morning. Discovery has an electrical issue that forced officials to postpone its liftoff which had been rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

The main problem is a misfiring circuit breaker.

"The signature coming out of that circuit showed another little glitch that was a little unexpected that we haven't seen before," said Mike Moses, Pre-launch Mission Management Team.

The breaker routes commands from the main engine's computer to the backup engines. A minor glitch, NASA says Discovery could fly with on its final mission, but they would rather be safe than sorry.

Replacing the circuit breaker would cause an approximately one month delay.

"We are getting really close to having a full understanding of the problem, but we need to polish it, we need to organize and we need to make sure that we are not wrong about it," said Moses.

Another reason mentioned for the wait was lack of rest for the astronauts.

"A lot of the decision tonight, in my mind, was based on crew fatigue. If we had pressed on to all the discussion necessary to get the flight ready, we probably would've gotten there but it would've taken several hours," said Mike Leinback, Shuttle Launch Director.

NASA officials will gather together at 2:00pm Wednesday to make up their minds about a possible launch set for Thursday.


Why can't we stop being cowards and just launch the damn thing.

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Shuttle launch delayed again, possibly until Dec.

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