Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Oct. 7, 1995
NASA's Space Shuttle Processing Status Report
STS-73 Columbia postponement
NASA Launch Director Jim Harrington announced at 10 a.m. today that the STS-73 launch would be postponed today. The delay will be at least 48 hours. Officials will meet this morning to discuss repairs and schedules. Launch controllers identified a problem with one of the two master events controllers before 9 a.m. today. This unit sends the signals to fire pyrotechnic devices that fire the solid rocket booster hold down bolts at launch, and jettison the solid rocket boosters and the external tank during ascent. This unit is located in the aft compartment and may have to be replaced and retested. The external tank will be drained of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants and access to the aft compartment will be established.
NASA Test Director John Guidi told the flight crew, "We did our best today and we sure hope to see you back here very soon and try all the way down to T-zero and a safe launch."
In 1984, on Mission STS 41-D, launch was delayed 24 hours because of an incompatibility between the master events controller and the flight software relating to solid rocket booster fire commands. During the 24 hour delay, a software patch was verified and implemented to assure all three booster fire commands were issued in the proper time interval.
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