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NASA set to test repairs of space shuttle leak

Endeavour, fuel leak, launch testNASA will refill space shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank tomorrow morning to test whether the leak that twice scrubbed the orbiter's launch earlier this month has been properly repaired.

The refueling is scheduled to commence at 7:00 A.M. (Eastern Daylight Time), and Florida Today reports that the tank will reach 98 percent capacity, the level at which leaks arose during launch preparations, between 9:00 and 9:15 A.M.

NASA passed on launch opportunities June 13 and June 17 after hydrogen leaks were discovered at the launch pad. The culprit was the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, which is where the external fuel tank connects to a venting system that allows excess hydrogen to be carried away from the orbiter.

If the space agency deems the repair a success, Endeavour will proceed toward a scheduled July 11 liftoff to the International Space Station.

Photo of technicians repairing Endeavour's Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate: NASA/Jack Pfaller

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