Hydrogen leak scuppers shuttle launch

Cape Canaveral, (Fla) – NASA has postponed the launch of space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-127 mission because of a leak associated with the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the shuttle’s external fuel tank.

Endeavour’s next launch window is July 11. This date comes after the end of an orbital sun-angle condition called a beta angle cut-out, which occurs between June 22 and July 10. This creates conditions that mean shuttle and space station docked operations would be hazardous.

The gaseous hydrogen venting system is used to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad. Today’s leak is similar to one that prevented Endeavour’s launch on June 13.

The 16-day mission to the International Space Station will feature five spacewalks and will complete construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory. Astronauts will attach a platform to the outside of the Japanese module that will allow experiments to be carried out while exposed to space.

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NASA reschedules Endeavour launch