NASA postpones Endeavour launch due to hydrogen leak

The launch had been scheduled for 7:17 am (1647 IST) from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
But "the launch is scrubbed, it's official," spokesman Kyle Herring told reporters, saying it would not be rescheduled for at least 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency said in a statement posted on its website that the leak was detected near the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, which is attached to the external tank at its intertank area.

The leak was similar to one that occurred during the first launch attempt of the space shuttle Discovery in March.

After the leak is assessed, shuttle managers planned to meet today to discuss what steps to take next, including targeting a new launch date for Endeavour's mission to the International Space Station, NASA said.

In the future, the ISS is set to be a temporary home to 13 astronauts -- the first time so many people have stayed on the orbiting station at once.

The six US astronauts and a Canadian female astronaut that Endeavour is expected to eventually bring to the ISS will join another US astronaut and one more from Canada, as well as two Russians, a Belgian and Japan's Koichi Wakata who are currently living on the ISS.

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