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Fuel leak delays Atlantis launch until Sunday
Updated: Thu, Apr 4, 2002, 7:05 PM ET (0005 GMT)
Originally Posted: Thu, Apr 4, 2002, 1:30 PM ET (1830 GMT)
STS-110 patch (NASA) A major leak during fueling of the shuttle Atlantis's external tank Thursday forced NASA to delay the launch until at least Sunday. The leak developed Thursday morning while liquid hydrogen was being loaded into the external tank. The leak was traced to a line used to vent excess hydrogen from the tank to keep pressure from building up. The fueling was halted as soon as the leak was noticed on launch pad cameras, about an hour after it started. All personnel are cleared from the pad before fueling begins, so no one was injured and no other damage was reported. NASA had tentatively rescheduled the launch for Friday afternoon, but decided Thursday afternoon to delay the launch until Sunday to allow for additional time to carry out repairs. NASA would only say that the launch is scheduled for between 2 and 6 pm EDT (1800 and 2200 GMT), but outside analysts have estimated the launch time to be 5:02 pm EDT (2102 GMT) based on the orbit of the International Space Station.
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