WASHINGTON — NASA managers met Friday to discuss the status of space shuttle Endeavour’s launch to the International Space Station. The launch was postponed because of a heater issue associated with the shuttle’s hydraulic power system. The next launch attempt will be no earlier than May 2.
The shuttle has three Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) that provide hydraulic power to steer the vehicle during ascent and entry. NASA launch commit criteria and flight rules require all three APUs to be fully operational for launch.
Endeavour’s external fuel tank was drained of more than 500,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and oxygen so engineers can access the area Saturday and evaluate the issue with APU 1.