Shuttle Launch Scrubbed

The first space shuttle launch since the February 2003 Columbia disaster was called off earlier today because of a faulty fuel sensor.

Shuttle launch called off (CNN)

NASA scrubbed the launch of the space shuttle Discovery on Wednesday because of a faulty fuel sensor. It was unclear how long the problem would delay the launch, NASA officials said.

Earlier, weather had threatened Discovery’s liftoff, the space shuttle program’s first scheduled mission 2 1/2 years after the Columbia disaster. Discovery’s launch had been set for 3:51 p.m. ET.

The 13-day mission will mark the shuttle program’s first since Columbia broke apart over Texas during re-entry to Earth in February 2003, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

Weather I can understand. But faulty parts? With 2-1/2 years prep time? Unbelievable.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. M. Murcek says:

    The shuttle is an enormous, stinking, filthy waste of finite space exploration resources, a make-work program for companies in various congressional districts, and and an obscenity in general.

    And it services that useless space station to boot!


  2. DaveD says:

    These recurrent inconvenient as well as disasterous problems with the shuttle make me wonder whether there are too many contractors involved in making the various parts for this complex vehicle.

  3. DC Loser says:

    In the past they might have flown the shuttle with the faulty sensor, but not this time for obvious reasons. I’ve done a number of experimental rocket launches and every launch is a nail biter in the countdown all the way to launch as anything can happen to scrub the launch, including a part going bad at the last minute.