The Trouble With Sensors IV

Apparently now NASA managers are considering a fueling test to determine if their fix of the ECO sensors actually - er - um - worked:
CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA is mapping out plans to test shuttle Discovery's external tank at its Kennedy Space Center launch pad, but a final decision on whether to proceed with the fuel-loading operation still is pending.
Among other things, the test – which would take place about June 1 – would enable engineers to determine whether four new liquid hydrogen fuel-depletion sensors in the tank are working properly.

Kyle Herring, a spokesman for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said engineers have been asked to draw up plans for a test, but managers still have not made a final decision on whether to carry it out.

Apparently NASA may need a fueling test to actually see if the ever problematic ECO sensors actually are working...I guess the other times engineers asked for a fueling test to do the same thing and were denied and told that it wasn't necessary to determine if they do in fact work, they were just "kidding around."

Well no one is laughing. Stop stalling and do the darn test already.

The Trouble With Sensors III
The Trouble With Sensors II
The Trouble With Sensors I


  1. The problem with doing the test is that they figure the loading and unloading of propellant causes the cracks in the spray-on foam insulation, resulting in pieces of foam falling off the tank.

  2. That's seems plausible enough, though it's the first time I have heard of this excuse.

    That is awfully strange though, because they have done re-fueling tests in the past - didn't they figure it would cause cracks then?

    My thinking is that it depends at which stage in the launch preparations that the re-fueling test is done. All I know is that NASA engineers repeatedly requested re-fueling tests Ed.

    If that means removing the spray-on foam and re-applying it I don't know... But obviously NASA engineers thought it was possibility.