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Discovery will be launched on its final journey two days late - on Wednesday

The launch was delayed due to a helium and hydrogen leak. Currently, NASA estimates that the repair can be done on the launch pad

Discovery on the launch pad for mission STS-133, October 2010. Photo: Universe Today
Discovery on the launch pad for mission STS-133, October 2010. Photo: Universe Today

The launch of the space shuttle Discovery, for mission STS-133, which is supposed to be its last mission, has been delayed a day compared to the original plan and is now scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 3, at 15:52 EST, 21:52 Israel time.

Administrators gathered to discuss a plan to repair helium and hydrogen leaks in the space shuttle Discovery's starboard compressed area, which is used for space maneuvers (OMS). The leak must be stopped before launch and the decision to delay caused the countdown clock to be turned back.

During the press conference on Friday, the shuttle's director of testing, Jeff Spaulding, said that this type of repair has been done several times before on the launch vehicle, so they are not worried that it will cause a long delay. They refilled the leaking containers, which necessitated the evacuation of the launch pad from workers, which in itself caused a delay because the workers could not continue their routine activities on the eve of the launch.

Currently, it is estimated that the launch will be possible on Wednesday because it is routine repairs. The team will work day and night to remove the caps where the leaks were discovered. "The standard process is to remove the caps to examine both sides of the connectors and see where the problem was that caused the leak," Spaulding said.

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