Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dec. 19 Space shuttle program managers approved a plan Thursday to prepare to remove foam around a connector on the external fuel tank of space shuttle Atlantis. The decision was based on analysis of the data from a thorough test of the fuel level sensor system that was conducted Tuesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale said after the test that the instruments isolated an issue in the fuel sensor system to a connector on the external tank. Engineers will continue evaluating the data. Managers are scheduled to convene again Dec. 27 to discuss the issue and potential remedies. The fuel sensor system relayed false readings during two launch countdowns for Atlantis on mission STS-122. The next launch opportunity for Atlantis is no earlier than Jan. 10, 2008.

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