NASA officials decided on Friday to delay the launch of the shuttle Atlantis yet again until Sunday as they continue to fix faulty fuel sensors.
The first attempt to launch Atlantis ended hours before liftoff on Thursday when a pair of sensors in its fuel tank failed a routine check. The Sunday liftoff Is temporarily set to 3:21pm EST, however officials will meet later today to discuss any remaining possibilities for further delays.
We don't like to accept risk at the launch site. We don't want to get launch fever... we want to make sure that when we go launch it is safe, said shuttle program manager Wayne Hale according to Associated Press.
NASA has been struggling with fuel gauge problems since 2005, when shuttle flights resumed following the Columbia disaster, Hale said. Engineers thought they knew what was wrong and made improvements.
Atlantis is scheduled for an 11-day mission to deliver a European-made space laboratory to the International Space Station. The laboratory, known as Columbus, will join U.S. and Russian-made components on the space station.
NASA has until December 16 for liftoff before this launching window closes, before the sun moves into a position that makes it difficult for the shuttle to land at the International Space Station. The next opportunity will be in January.