CAPE CANAVERAL - Hydraulics Glitch May Delay Liftoff : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Title: Hydraulics Glitch May Delay Liftoff

Michael Cabbage Sentinel Space Editor

Published in The Orlando Sentinel on April 07, 2000

CAPE CANAVERAL -- A suspect hydraulics unit that helps control shuttle Atlantis' tail rudder will likely have to be replaced, possibly delaying the ship's April 24 launch to the international space station.

Engineers reviewing data from a test performed Tuesday found pressure readings three times above normal in a power drive unit located at the base of Atlantis' tail. The 300-pound device helps perform the crucial task of moving the shuttle's combination rudder-speed brake during landing.

Mission managers are expected to determine next week whether replacing the unit, if necessary, can be done properly with Atlantis in a vertical position at the launch pad. If not, the shuttle would have to be rolled back to its hangar for repairs. That would probably delay the mission until at least mid-May.

Atlantis' seven astronauts are at Kennedy Space Center this week for a practice launch countdown. During its scheduled 10-day flight, the crew plans to do maintenance work on the fledgling station and drop off supplies.


-- (, April 07, 2000

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