Source Pravda.Ru

Discovery shuttle launch delayed due to technical problems

42183.jpegThe final launch of the space shuttle Discovery has been delayed until Wednesday. NASA on Saturday delayed liftoff an extra day because of ongoing repairs to the shuttle. The flight to the international space station was originally scheduled for Monday, then slipped to Tuesday after two gas leaks were discovered onboard.

Officials say they want to take their time to properly plug the leaks. This will be Discovery's 39th and final mission. NASA is retiring the shuttle fleet next year, according to The Associated Press.

Engineers have been scrambling to fix leaky helium and nitrogen seals in one of Discovery's twin aft-mounted engine pods. The leaks are in seals used to pressurize fuel line plumbing in one of the shuttle's orbital maneuvering system pods.

Technicians here at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. worked overnight to repair quick-disconnect fittings in the system used to pressurize Discovery's right Orbital Maneuvering System rocket engine. They made good progress but are slightly behind the timeline that was prepared yesterday, according to NASA officials, Space.com reports.