Oh man. One of the worrisome things about the shuttle launch is that the date is VERY fluid. There are mechanical difficulties that can push the launch back. If the weather isn’t within certain parameters it will also delay the launch. So I’ve been following the shuttle Discovery’s journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A with hope and trepidation.
Within the last several days the NASA techs have found a small leak in the fuel line for the orbital maneuvering systems engines. From what I’ve seen online, it appears to be an intermittent leak, but they are going to be replacing the seals on the system. So they have to drain the fuel tanks, replace the seals, and refill them. Normally this work is done back in the Vehicle Assembly Building, but they are going to be doing the work while it is on the launch pad.
Its nice, I have a flexibility in my schedule that not many others do, but I still would like to see this launch go off on time. And now Tropical Storm Richard has formed and is projected to possibly impact Florida next week. If it does, it could possibly cause NASA to roll Discovery back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Which would push the launch back a good bit.
So I’m sitting here hopeful that everything is going to work out, and that in a little over a week I’ll be sitting in Florida with a bunch of other space geeks and we will have had the opportunity to watch our craft take flight!