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ExoLance
Valve problem could delay shuttle launch
Posted: Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 6:02 AM ET (1002 GMT)
STS-131: logo (NASA) Shuttle engineers are investigating a valve problem on the shuttle Discovery that could delay its scheduled launch next month. The issue is with an isolator valve in a helium pressurization system in the orbital maneuvering system pod on the orbiter's right side. In a worst-case scenario, the shuttle would have to be hauled back from the pad to have the pod replaced, which would delay the scheduled April 5 launch by several weeks. Engineers plan tests to see how serious the valve problem is and if the problem is minor enough to allow the orbiter to fly as is. Discovery is scheduled to perform a 13-day mission to the ISS, delivering supplies and performing other work on the station.
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