NASA announced on Thursday that it will push back the final launch of Endeavor after encountering electrical problems.
The good news is that NASA also announced that they are determined to have Endeavor’s final space voyage this month of May, but no earlier than May 16: “NASA managers met Friday afternoon and determined space shuttle Endeavour will launch no earlier than Monday, May 16 at 8: 56 a.m. EDT (1256 GMT),” a statement released by the space agency.
The electrical problem was caused by a faulty heater and the launch date of April 29 was cancelled 3 hours before liftoff. Two heater circuits that are connected to the Auxiliary Power Unit 1 (APU 1) failed making the heater to not function properly. Heaters are needed to keep the shuttle’s fuel from freezing which could rupture in space.
Space shuttle Endeavor was scheduled to launch last Friday, April 29 to deliver a $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) particle detector to the International Space Station which will be used to detect several types of unusual matter in space by detecting cosmic rays. This is to help the study on antimatter and dark matter which have been baffling scientists.
Endeavor was the replacement for Challenger which was lost in an explosion in 1986 as it tried to ascend into space killing 7 astronauts. It will be given to California Science Center after its last voyage. This makes Endeavor the second space shuttle to be retired, next to space shuttle Discovery.