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Shuttle tanking test planned
Posted: Wed, Dec 12, 2007, 8:36 AM ET (1336 GMT)
STS-122: logo (NASA) NASA will perform a fueling test of the shuttle Atlantis next week in an effort to understand why fuel cutoff sensors in the shuttle's external tank malfunctioned last week. Shuttle managers said yesterday they planned conduct the tanking test next Tuesday with additional instrumentation to better understand why engine cutoff (ECO) sensors gave erroneous readings when the shuttle was fueled for launch attempts last Thursday and Sunday. The ECO sensor problems, which have yet to be explained, caused those launch attempts to be scrubbed, pushing the launch of the STS-122 mission to be delayed until early January. Shuttle managers said the additional instrumentation that will be used during the test will allow engineers to track down the source of the malfunction and allow them to develop a plan to resolve the problem. While there has been some discussion of developing workarounds for the ECO sensors, shuttle managers said those efforts are not currently being pursued.
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