Wednesday, January 9, 2008

STS-122 Launch in early February?

As it looks, Atlantis will launch no earlier than February, 2nd on its STS-122 mission to the international space station. Some new problems have popped up and also been fixed since my last blog post. Unfortunately, I am currently quite busy with some of my projects and so I could not follow as closely as I usually did. However, I checked the status today and all in all it seems to look quite OK.

Tomorrow is another NASA PRCB meeting (they are each week on Thursdays). I expect that we will see an official status update on potential launch dates. In the mean time, tests on the external feedthrough connector removed from Atlantis' external tank are being conducted. This is not yet completed and it will be interesting to see the test results.

At the launch pad, the cables have been soldered to the connector, giving them a solid connection. This very same fix was applied to Atlas rockets with similar issues some years ago.

In short, there actually is currently not much to report. The wizards at NASA are working very hard to find the actual root cause and a good fix for the ECO sensor issue. There is not much definite know today because it all depends on the outcome of testing and analysis. So lets stay tuned for what's going on...

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