Space shuttle Endeavour launch postponed again

June 17th, 2009 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 17 (DPA) US space agency NASA Wednesday postponed the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour after technicians detected a hydrogen gas leak during fuelling just hours before scheduled lift-off.
The shuttle’s launch had been set for 5.40 a.m. (0940 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida for a 16-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). It was to carry the final pieces to the Japanese Kibo module of the ISS.

The aborted launch followed a four-day delay caused by a similar leak of the potentially hazardous gas from an external fuel tank.

A new launch date was set for July 11, NASA officials said after the mission was called off Wednesday.

The seven-member crew were to install a porch for experiments outside the space station, bring spare equipment and conduct other repairs during five planned spacewalks.

NASA postponed the Endeavour lift-off after it discovered that hydrogen was leaking from a vent line and had to empty the fuel tank containing liquid hydrogen and oxygen.

The problem was similar to one in March that delayed the launch of the Discovery shuttle.

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