SCIENCE -- April 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM ET
Space Shuttle Endeavour To Launch No Earlier Than May 10
Updated May 9 4:30 p.m. EST
After more than a week of delays, NASA managers have given the go ahead for a May 16 launch. Engineers have installed a new switchbox, new thermostats and new wiring. And while they haven't pinpointed the exact root cause of the failure, NASA's shuttle program launch integration manager Mike Moses said on Monday that the team has "extremely high confidence that we have nothing in front of us to prevent us from launching on the 16." The launch is now scheduled for 8:56 a.m. EST that day.
Updated May 6 3:45 p.m. ET | NASA announced today that Endeavour's liftoff has been pushed back again, to no earlier than May 16.
Updated May 2, 6:00 p.m. ET | NASA now says that the shuttle Endeavour won't liftoff until May 10 at the earliest.
NASA shuttle & station managers met Monday & determined that Tuesday May 10 is the earliest Endeavour could be launched on STS-134.
Updated May 1 at 3 p.m. ET: The launch of shuttle Endeavour was postponed to no earlier than May 8 due to a faulty heating system, NASA officials said Sunday. There is no official launch date set yet.
A 48-pound box of switches in the engine compartment that controls power feeds throughout the shuttle has been identified as the likely source of what caused heaters on a fuel line in an auxiliary power unit to fail on Friday. The plan is to remove and replace the box, which is expected to take several days to complete. The new box is slated to get installed on Tuesday, followed by a series of tests.
Updated May 1 at 10:18 a.m. ET: NASA engineers have determined that the space shuttle Endeavour will not launch on May 2, and NASA has not yet set a new launch date. The problem has been traced to a switchbox in the shuttle's engine compartment. The six crew members, led by commander Mark Kelly, are in Houston awaiting developments.
Based on the amount of time needed to do the fix, a new shuttle launch attempt will not happen before the end of the week, at the soonest.
Updated April 29 at 1:15 p.m. ET: NASA reports that the launch of space shuttle Endeavour will be delayed until at least Monday.
Shuttle Endeavour's launch now no earlier than Monday at 2:33 p.m. EDT. News conference at 4 pm today on http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
The shuttle launch has been delayed, according to NewsHour's Miles O'Brien, who is on the scene in Cape Canaveral. Follow his coverage at Spaceflight Now.
SCRUB - No space shuttle launch today. http://spaceflightnow.com At least a 48 hour turnaround
Space shuttle Endeavour, NASA's youngest orbiter, was scheduled blast off into space for the final time at 3:47 pm EST Friday, marking the next-to-last scheduled launch of the shuttle program, but liftoff was delayed due to technical issues.
According to the AP, Commander Mark Kelly and his crew were on their way to the launch pad, when NASA halted the countdown. The heaters on one of the ship's power units failed about four hours before liftoff.
"Unfortunate for the (Endeavour) team and Mark Kelly and his crew, but today the orbiter is not ready to fly and as we always say in this business, we will not fly before we're ready," said launch director Mike Leinbach.
Kelly's wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, survived an assassination attempt in Tucson in January. Giffords and President Barack Obama were expected to attend the launch.
The president still traveled to Cape Canaveral, despite the cancelling of the launch, and met with Giffords and Kelly.
During its 14-day mission, the crew will deliver to the International Space Station a $2 billion particle physics detector, know as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS. AMS is a massive supercooled magnet designed to soak up cosmic rays, and to search for dark matter and antimatter. It will also deliver spare parts, including two communication antennas and a high-pressure gas tank.
Endeavour was born out of tragedy -- authorized in 1987 to replace the Challenger shuttle after the 1986 disaster. In its short nine-year career, Endeavour has flown missions to fix a communications satellite, repair the Hubble Space Telescope and transported to space the first African-American woman, and the first married couple.
It was named in a national contest by elementary school students after the British HMS Endeavor, the sailing ship commanded by 18th century explorer James Cook.
Watch Miles O'Brien's LIVE webcast for spaceflightnow from Kennedy Space Center here.
And you can submit your questions for our special LIVE interview with the Endeavour crew, which is expected to take place three days after launch. It's part of a collaboration with Google and YouTube.