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Mon, Jun 15, 2009

New Launch Date For Endeavour Set

Go For Wednesday At 0540

NASA managers have scheduled the next launch attempt of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission for 5:40 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 17.

Endeavour's planned June 13 liftoff was postponed because of a leak associated with the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the shuttle's external fuel tank. The system is used to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad. That repair has been completed 

As a result, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, are set to lift off together aboard an Atlas V rocket on Thursday, June 18. That launch pushed back a day to accommodate Endeavour's June 17 liftoff.

The leak postponed Endeavour's Saturday morning scheduled launch to the International Space Station. Teams on Kennedy's Launch Pad 39A have changed out internal seals in the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, or GUCP, which is attached to the external tank. The vent line runs from the GUCP, away from the launch pad to a "flare stack" where excess hydrogen is safely burned off.

Endeavour's leak was similar to what happened during the first launch attempt of space shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission in March. Technicians are using the same repair method, which led to Discovery's successful launch on its next attempt



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