Discovery launch this weekend ruled out

NASA still cannot find the solution to the problem that postponed the launch of Discovery shuttle on Wednesday. As engineers are working through around 200 possible scenarios it remains unclear whether the shuttle is to blast off until July 31.

According to NASA official web-site, NASA continues to troubleshoot a problem with a fuel tank sensor and hopes to make a decision today on how to move forward. Space Shuttle Program Deputy Manager Wayne Hale has announced more troubleshooting is necessary to determine why an Engine Cut-Off sensor gave intermittent readings during Wednesday's attempted launch of Space Shuttle Discovery. NASA launch regulations require that all four sensors work properly for liftoff.

Hale predicted more information could be available Friday, after NASA and contractor engineering teams across the country have had more time to analyze data and come up with a more definitive plan. The STS-114 crew led by veteran astronaut Eileen Collins will remain at Kennedy Space Center for the time being, continuing preparations, repeating some training and even taking some time to relax.

Early on Friday, technicians removed propellants from the shuttle's onboard power generators, NASA spokeswoman Jessica Rye was quoted as saying by Reuters. That would rule out a launch attempt this weekend, added NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham.

NASA has until July 31 to launch Discovery, a deadline dictated by its planned rendezvous with the International Space Station and a new requirement that shuttle launches take place in daylight so cameras will have clear views of liftoff.

The next launch window begins on Sept. 9. NASA had planned to use the September launch window to fly the space shuttle Atlantis on the agency's second post-Columbia mission.

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