Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Nov 12, 2010
A misaligned seal may have caused a hydrogen gas leak that canceled space shuttle Discovery's launch attempt Nov. 5, officials said.
Technicians conducting repairs removed a metal plate and assembly that connect a gas vent line to the shuttle's external tank.
The vent line routes excess hydrogen to a flare stack to be burned off a safe distance from the vehicle, Florida Today reported.
A flight seal that remains on the tank after liftoff was found to be misaligned, the newspaper said.
During fueling in advance of last week's intended launch, a "significant" and potentially dangerous leak of gaseous hydrogen was detected where the vent line attaches to the tank.
Replacement of the seal, a quick-disconnect device and the vent line attachment plates was expected to be completed Friday.
Discovery's new seven-day launch window for what will be its final mission will begin Nov. 30, NASA said.
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Discovery ET Issues Increase With New Cracks
KSC FL (SPX) Nov 11, 2010
Overnight, crews removed space shuttle Discovery's ground umbilical carrier assembly, or GUCA, which includes the flight seal, the 7-inch quick disconnect, or QD and the carrier plate, known as the GUCP, as they continue working to investigate the leak. Teams performed an initial inspection of the flight seal and quick disconnect prior to sending them to labs for a thorough inspection. Dat ... read more
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