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Leaky valve could delay shuttle mission
Posted: Sat, May 25, 2002, 3:06 AM ET (0706 GMT)
STS-111 patch (NASA) A leaking valve in a cooling system on board shuttle Endeavour could delay its launch to the International Space Station, Spaceflight Now reported late Friday. Technicians were expected to check out a water spray boiler (WSB) located in the rear of Endeavour Friday night after engineers noticed that the unit did not work as quickly as expected. A leak in one or more valves in the WSB, used to cool the shuttle's auxiliary power units, is suspected. While NASA said in the latest shuttle status report that the problem should have "no impact" on the launch schedule, Spaceflight Now noted that such repairs have not been carried out on the pad before, and that the WSB unit in question is the least accessible of the three in the shuttle. If the unit cannot be repaired on the pad, NASA could decide as early as Saturday to roll the shuttle back for repairs, delaying the launch until at least mid-June. Endeavour is currently scheduled to lift off between 4 and 8 pm EDT (2000 and 0000 GMT) May 30 on STS-111, a space station crew rotation mission.
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