After a ten hour rollout to the launch pad Wednesday, the scheduled May launch of Space Shuttle Discovery has been put on hold. During a tank test of the main booster, ice began to form on fuel feed tubes. Engineers fear that the ice poses a threat, that it would damage the shuttle’s heat shields if it broke off during launch. This prompted yet another delay in the long anticipated Return To Space.
At the time of this writing, there has been speculation that the shuttle may have to return to its hanger for design changes. There have been suggestions that external heaters will be used to keep ice from forming prior to launch. This redesign will add weeks to the delay, with the soonest launch date now tentatively scheduled for mid July.