Space shuttle Discoverys next mission postponed to March 15

March 12th, 2009 - 12:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 12 (ANI): NASA managers have postponed Space shuttle Discoverys launch to the International Space Station (ISS) to March 15.

The planned liftoff on March 11 has been postponed due to a leak associated with the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the external fuel tank.

The system is used to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad.

Discoverys STS-119 flight is delivering the space stations fourth and final set of solar array wings, completing the station’’s truss, or backbone.

The arrays will provide the electricity to fully power science experiments and support the station’’s expanded crew of six in May.

The 14-day mission will feature four spacewalks to help install the S6 truss segment to the starboard, or right, side of the station and the deployment of its solar arrays.

The flight also will replace a failed unit for a system that converts urine to potable water.

Commander Lee Archambault is joined on STS-119 by Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold, John Phillips and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata.

Wakata will replace space station crew member Sandra Magnus, who has been aboard the station for more than four months.

He will return to Earth during the next station shuttle mission, STS-127, targeted to launch in June 2009. (ANI)

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