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NASA Endeavour Launch delayed with high cost [Latest Pictures].

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NASA officials said the delay of Endeavour launch is disappointing for the thousands of spectators that rushed to the Florida coast to see the commemorable liftoff and it will carry a large price tag.

NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said this de-tanking process would cost approximately $500,000.

Shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach said that Endeavour's launch will be no earlier than Monday at 2:33 p.m. EDT. Engineers need that time to troubleshoot an issue that resulted in today's launch scrub.

Leinbach said there will be a minimum 72-hour scrub turnaround.

During today's countdown, engineers detected a failure in one of two heater circuits associated with Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) 1. Heaters are required to keep the APUs' hydrazine from freezing on orbit.

Attempts to activate the heater were not successful and engineers now believe the problem might be associated with a Load Control Assembly, which is a switchbox, located in the aft end of Endeavour, or an electrical short in the wires leading into or out of the switchbox.

Endeavour's external tank will be drained, technicians will enter Endeavour's aft compartment overnight and by tomorrow afternoon, will put in a platform to gain access to the avionics bay where the Load Control Assembly is located. Once there, they will assess whether they need to remove and replace the switchbox, or fix an electrical wiring short.

Engineers and managers will meet on Friday afternoon to further refine their troubleshooting plan. NASA has scheduled a news conference at 4 p.m. to discuss Friday's scrub and the plan.

The space shuttle Endeavour sat on Launch Pad 39A as a storm passed prior to the rollback of the Rotating Service Structure, Thursday, April 28, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Endeavour launches on the STS-134 mission on Friday, April 29 at 3:47 p.m. EDT. During the 14-day mission, Endeavour and the STS-134 crew will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank.

Above Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the full moon hovers over space shuttle Endeavour waiting for liftoff on the STS-126 mission, which brought equipment and supplies in the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo, and rotated the crew for International Space Station Expedition 18.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Apr 29, 2011
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