'NASA managers today ruled out a June 1 fueling test with the shuttle Discovery, deciding there was no clear-cut technical justification for a complex exercise that would put unwanted stress on the tank's foam insulation and use up valuable contingency time.'
'Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale ordered engineers to make tentative plans for a tanking test earlier this spring as a way to make sure recently replaced engine cutoff - ECO - sensors would work properly on launch day. '
No clear cut reason? How 'bout, we don't know what's causing the ECO sensors to fail, so maybe we should find out...
Just how many times are Engineers at NASA going to request a re-fueling test only to have it denied?... This is becoming almost cartoonish...
'During a weekly program meeting today, the management team unanimously decided not to run the test, officials said, because any major problems with the ECO sensors almost certainly would preclude a launch in the July window anyway and because loading the tank with supercold propellant would subject its foam insulation to unwanted thermal stress.'
Are they saying what I think they're saying? Because the test would prevent any launch, we won't do the test? Is that a valid reason? Why would Engineers request such a test if it did indeed surely cancel the launch in the first place?
Now this just makes the mind go bonkers:
'Shuttle tanks are certified for 13 fueling cycles. When a countdown proceeds past the point where the tank is pressurized for launch - part of the plan for the June test - it counts as two cycles...'
Now this explains it. The Engineers requested the test, because they could do it and still be within the certified limit for the shuttle tanks.
No doubt doing the test would create thermal stresses in the foam, but according to this, it's still within the tolerance of the tanks... Or at least that's what it's suggesting in this article.
This is like watching a car crash waiting to happen...
The Trouble With Sensors IV
The Trouble With Sensors III
The Trouble With Sensors II
The Trouble With Sensors I