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News Archive Space until 2007

Launch of space shuttle Atlantis postponed to January 2008

9 December 2007

The new launch date for mission STS-122 is currently targeted for 7 February 2008.

 Space Shuttle Atlantis on Launch Pad 39A
zum Bild Space Shuttle Atlantis on Launch Pad 39A

The launch of space shuttle Atlantis, delayed since Thursday and rescheduled for Sunday, has been officially cancelled. NASA announced the earliest launch date is 2 January 2008.

Of the four engine cutoff sensors, ECO sensor number three gave false readings. NASA's current Launch Commit Criteria require that all four sensors function properly. The sensor system is one of several that protect the shuttle's main engines by triggering their shut down if fuel runs unexpectedly low.

Atlantis' originally scheduled Thursday launch was delayed after two of the four ECO sensors in the shuttle's external fuel tank gave false readings.

Atlantis' main cargo will be the European Columbus space laboratory which will be installed during the mission. This is Europe's biggest single contribution to the International Space Station. The 4.5-metre diameter cylindrical module is equipped with flexible reseach facilities that offer extensive science capabilities. The Columbus Control Centre will be based at DLR's Oberpfaffenhofen facility, near Munich.


Andreas Schütz
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) - German Aerospace Center

Corporate Communications, Spokesman

Tel.: +49 2203 601-2474

Mobile: +49 171 3126466

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249

Dr. Volker Sobick
German Aerospace Center

Space Administration
, Human Spaceflight, ISS and Exploration
Tel.: +49 228 447-495

Fax: +49 228 447-737

Created: 09/12/2007 13:50:00