Engine Tests May Stall Shuttle
A crack in a test space shuttle engine had NASA scrambling Thursday to determine whether any of Columbia’s three engines have similar flaws.
The problem threatened yet another delay for Columbia’s science mission, already two weeks late because of various equipment failures. Launch try No. 5 is supposed to be Saturday.
NASA spokeswoman June Malone said a 2-inch crack was found on the high-pressure oxidizer discharge duct of an engine being tested at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Liquid oxygen leaked from the crack Wednesday; engineers are not sure when the metal cracked.
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