NASA Won't Launch Discovery Until Saturday At The Earliest

July 13, 2005--Posted at 3:45 PM CDT

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (AP) -It will be Saturday at the earliest before NASA can try again to launch the space shuttle "Discovery." After waiting two and a half years to relaunch the space shuttle, NASA might have to sit tight for at least a few more days.

Today's scheduled launch of "Discovery" was scrubbed because of a faulty fuel gauge, and a launch control commentator says it's unlikely the problem will be quickly fixed.

The same problem happened during a launch pad test back in April, and NASA has been struggling ever since to figure out the source of the trouble. As recently as Monday, NASA's deputy shuttle program manager called the sensor problem an "unexplained anomaly."

NASA's administrator says it's not clear if the shuttle can be fixed at the launch pad, or if it will have to be rolled back to the hangar. Either way, he says, it'll stay on the ground until at least Monday.

The schedule is driven by the position of the international space station and NASA's desire to hold a daylight liftoff in order to photograph the shuttle during its climb to orbit.

NASA only has until the end of July to launch Discovery, after which it will have to wait until September.