No Hydrogen Leak; Shuttle Looking Good

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The long wait may be ending to launch Discovery to the international space station.

The fueling process for the space shuttle's huge external tank is now past the point at which a hydrogen leak developed on Wednesday. And this time, NASA reports "no indication of leakage at all." Spokesman George Diller says it looks like "the system is tight."

That means the countdown continues toward a sunset launch at 7:43 p.m. Eastern Time.

The weather is good. The seven astronauts are up and will be heading to the launch pad later in the afternoon. Their mission has been shortened to 13 days and three spacewalks by the more than one-month delay. Their main goal is to install the final set of solar wings on the space station.

Mike Leinbach, launch director says they expect to stay on a timeline for a Sunday night launch, despite not knowing what caused a hydrogen gas leak.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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