Workers scramble to fix space shuttle leak

Oct. 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Workers at the Kennedy Space Center are working to stop a leak on the Discovery space shuttle that could affect its scheduled Nov. 1 launch, NASA says.

A slight vapor leak in the shuttle's Orbital Maneuvering System tanks and lines was discovered, and technicians attempted to stop it by replacing a flight cap but the effort was unsuccessful, reported Tuesday.

On Monday launch managers ordered the tanks and lines drained of toxic fuels so workers could access flange seals in the system for possible replacement.

The repair of the flange would be difficult though not impossible while the shuttle is in its vertical launch position on the pad, Kennedy Space Center spokesman Allard Beutel said.

NASA has until Nov. 5 or 6 to launch the shuttle before schedule conflicts would postpone the mission until the beginning of December.

Discovery will deliver spare parts and a logistics module to the International Space Station on what should be its last planned flight, said.

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