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NASA investigates Endeavour fault that canceled launch attempt

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NASA investigates Endeavour fault that canceled launch attempt

2011-05-01 19:55:48 GMT+7 (ICT)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (BNO NEWS) -- Technicians at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida are testing various systems of the space shuttle Endeavour to find out what caused the heater issue that forced the cancellation of Friday's launch attempt.

NASA said on Sunday that its teams gained access to the spacecraft on Saturday afternoon and are testing various systems to determine the cause of the heater issue associated with auxiliary power unit-1 (APU-1). It caused NASA to call off the Friday afternoon launch attempt.

"Teams began testing thermostats associated with the heater connected to the fuel line for the APU," NASA said in a statement. "Initial reports indicate the thermostat side that failed during Friday's launch countdown still is not working, as expected."

It remains a mystery what caused the fault, and teams are continuing additional testing to help determine whether the thermostat is receiving a current or whether the issue is being caused by another part of the system.

While another launch attempt is officially scheduled for Monday at 2.34 p.m. Eastern time, NASA officials will decide later on Sunday whether they need more time.

Endeavour's launch is followed closely for a number of reasons, including the expected attendance of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from being shot in the head during an assassination attempt in January.

But it is also the last ever launch of Endeavour before its retirement, which it will spend at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Space shuttle Atlantis will fly the last planned shuttle mission in June, after it will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex.

The crew members for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

During the 14-day mission, Endeavour and its crew will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-01

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