first_imgPoor, poor space shuttle Discovery. After 38 flights in over a quarter-century of operations, the shuttle is one mission away from retirement. It’s a mission that’s been plagued by one delay after another. The 11 day mission, which was initially planned to lift off on November 1st, has been continually pushed back, thanks to circuit board problems, weather, and fuel tank leaks.A search yesterday uncovered even more leaks in the ship’s fuel tanks–two of them, both measuring around nine inches a piece. “They were found one of the stringers, which are composite aluminum ribs located vertically on the tank’s intertank area,” NASA told the press.AdChoices广告NASA engineers are taking a look at the cracks. “Usually, technicians will remove the cracked aluminum and replace it with a ‘doubler,’ which is a twice-as-thick stringer section, before replacing the foam insulation,” according to PCMag.last_img