Endeavour's Monday launch canceled
Space Shuttle Endeavour will not take off Monday, NASA said.
May 1st, 2011
09:42 AM ET

Endeavour's Monday launch canceled

A plan to launch the space shuttle Endeavour on Monday has been scrubbed, officials said Sunday. Endeavour's final launch was delayed by at least 72 hours Friday because of concerns about the shuttle's heating system. Monday was the earliest possible liftoff date following the delay.

As part of NASA's examination of the problem, officials said, the shuttle's external fuel tank will be drained of its oxygen and hydrogen propellants.

"The engineering team did not understand how this problem occurred and did not feel comfortable proceeding with a launch attempt," NASA spokesman George Diller said on Friday.

The delay postponed what promised to be an emotional moment for the shuttle's commander, Mark Kelly. Kelly's wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, traveled to Florida to watch the shuttle's ascent.

Giffords was nearly killed January 8 when she was shot in the head by a would-be assassin at a public event in Tucson, Arizona. She has been recovering at a Houston rehabilitation hospital. It was not clear whether Giffords' doctors will allow her to remain in Florida for the duration of the delay. Her office said in a statement Friday her travel plans are "undetermined."

"Congresswoman Giffords is disappointed that Endeavour was unable to launch today, but realizes that mission safety must come first. Launch delays are not uncommon with the space shuttle," the statement said. "We are looking forward to the quick rescheduling of this scientifically important mission. The congresswoman was pleased, however, to have been able to meet with President Obama and the first family."

President Barack Obama and the first lady also went to the launch site, and Obama personally visited with Giffords for about 10 minutes, a White House official said. Obama also met the entire Endeavour crew, including Kelly. Kelly was tapped to lead a crew that includes pilot Gregory Johnson; mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff and Andrew Feustel; and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori. Endeavour has logged more than 103 million miles in space, blasting off 24 times, but its 25th flight will be its last.

As NASA's shuttle program winds down with the last launch scheduled this summer, many in the astronaut corps are wrestling with what to do next. For the foreseeable future, Russian rockets will be the only way for U.S. astronauts to get to space. Fincke spent a total of a year in space on the International Space Station, getting there and back twice on Russian rockets.

But Friday's delayed flight will be his first on the shuttle. Four spacewalks are planned for the mission. The space walkers will retrieve experiments, install new ones, refill tanks and lubricate parts at the International Space Station. In its cargo bay, Endeavour will carry the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

At $1.5 billion, it is the most expensive piece of equipment a space shuttle has ever carried. The spectrometer is designed to capture space particles like anti-matter and dark matter that scientists know very little about but believe exist in the universe. The spectrometer will be mounted outside the International Space Station. If it's successful, it could lead to a better understanding of how our universe began and evolved.

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Filed under: Shuttle • Space
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT

    i hope the new space shttle looks like a x-wing fighter...

    May 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. popeye

    Hey Jazzzzzzz, isn't it great being gay(that's what you said last night)?

    May 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT

    YOU know what i was thinking about earlier...

    remember superman..the one that had the three bad guys.. well they attacked the nasa guys on the moon..

    well i was thinking.. superman wasn't really that great of a guy anyways cause if he was... he could just like call up NASA and be like.. "hey NASA yeah this is super man.. gotta anything you want me to take up into space today? i know that price of rocket fuel is very high.. and i could take that shuttle up there and save you a ton of money.. "

    May 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jazzzzzzz

    oh popeye you're too funny. I SAY THAT EVERY NIGHT! (tee hee)

    May 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      wait a tic... (tee hee) <-i wonder if jazzzz is micheal jackson.. and faked his death..

      dear jazzzz for x-mas i would like a set of edelbrock heads and a new set of slotted mag wheels..

      May 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. popeye

    I LOVE BEING A DRAG QUEEN!

    May 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NASA WORKER

    the reason the shuttle is delayed till monday is because somebody let the door open and the dome light was on all night and drained the battery down..

    luckly we were able to get a trickle charger with a 2000' extention cord..

    the shuttle batteries are the gel type so you have to charge them on low...

    May 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      hey i got a long pair of jumper cables and my camaro has a big battey and a 160amp alternater...

      May 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @NASA WORKER: Come to me and EAT ME NOW!!!!

    May 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • NASA WORKER

      I only like to eat little ceasar's .... the bread sticks are my favorite..

      May 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. popeye

    The real popeye keep on reporting the gay one maybe CNN will get the point !

    May 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Outsider (Jorma)

    Hello,

    As the name implies, I'm on the Outside looking in....

    RE: TROLLS(S)

    It appears that with the situation here, hitting the "Report abuse" isn't going to get you anywhere. I've done it hundreds of times and have even contacted cnn directly. Nothing...

    So, first of all some recommendations. Google "Internet Trolls", there are some good articles on how to stop them.

    A couple of basics:

    1. "DNFTT" – Do Not Feed The Trolls – In essence, do not acknowledge them, do not respond to them, just Ignore them. They desire your attention and by acknowledging them you are just feeding more to come.

    2. Change your screen name if you are constantly getting TROLL highjacked. Inconvenient but will work, at least for awhile. I know the "regs' won't like doing that but I would highly recommend it.

    The only way this situation will get better resolved is on the cnn side. They need to setup a basic system, where you register with a verified email address and are allowed to pick a screen name. Once that screen name is picked it will not be available for anyone else to pick. And registration/verification of the email address, ensures to some degree that the person is real. Until this is done, the Troll(s) will be around.

    A couple of other observations. I've pretty much concluded, from my outside observations, that it is the work of ONE TROLL. I think I've got that nailed.

    Another interesting thing I've observed. The TROLL not only highjacks other's names but makes up names. How do I know this? Well, I've observed a trend in comments from "non-highjacked" names. The TROLL writes in a certain manner during those times. The fine details are, he writes a sentence like "blah blah blah,blah blah blah".
    So what's odd there? Well, he repeatedly does this by not using a space after the comma. It should be "blah blah blah, blah blah blah". However, now that I've pointed that out, we can be ensured he won't be doing that. But, if you see names you never seen before with ridiculous, inflammatory, mocking comments then it is him.

    I may be wrong but I truly feel 90% of it is one person. Someone with a lot of time on his hands and someone who is intelligent. I think Joey pointed out in another thread, that if this guy came out he would probably be someone who actually could contribute here. But, it appears the TROLL like games more than being real.

    Anyways, that's my take on things. I'm sure I will get TROLLED after this comment. **Shrug** Don't let the TROLL get to you, that's what he wants.

    Jorma

    May 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      what if we laced some "troll chow" with some poison?

      May 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RUFFNUTT

    popeye's chicken is good.. i still think kfc's extra crispy is tthe bet tho...

    May 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    I think it's great that NASA put the shuttle launch on hold. Sure, it's a disappointment, but as Cesar put it, "better safe than sorry." Ultimately, the safety of our crew far outweighs a little disappointment. If this is to be the last of Endeavour's flights, making it the best and safest is a no-brainer. Rep. Giffords will be able to see the launch...just a little later than anticipated.

    May 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      it's that type of thinking that make us always second place...

      just hit the big red button an go!!! almost anything can be fixed with duct tape anyways...

      May 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. popeye

    NASA is building a new intergalactic spacecraft that can zap gay poser trolls through their computer monitors and cell phone screens while doushing their orphises at the same time ! I find this to be a great achievement maybe the best of the new century ! Read more @trolls&poles.com

    May 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jazzzzzzzz

    Hey all, I agree that not letting a screen name be used once it has been choosen. I am off for now .... going to watch ( The Chamber )

    May 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. popeye

    @jorma some good points I've said CNN needs to allow solitaire screen names only I try to ignore the trolls but I'm growing inpatient and ready to retaliate!

    May 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. popeye

    Later jazzzzzzz ;*)

    May 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
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