STS-122 – previous shuttle mission with ECO problems?

There have been at least two previous shuttle missions when ECO sensors were put to the test after the shuttle launched.

On July 29, 1985, Challenger (STS-51F) experienced a main engine shutdown 5:43 secs into flight because of an internal temperature sensor failure. The end result was an ECO sensor cutoff though the other two engines kept running.

On July 23, 1999, STS-93 Columbia launched and experienced an engine shutdown due to a hydrogen leak. ECO sensors went “dry” during that event causing an engine shutdown. STS-93 was originally planned to launch July 20, 1999 but it was delayed (just seconds before liftoff) because of the same problem STS-122 experienced today, a negative ECO sensor reading.

Neither of these two ECO sensor incidents (ie., STS-51F or STS-93) resulted in the shuttle not being able to complete their mission, although the STS-51F incident did result in the shuttle ending in a lower-than-planned orbit called an ATO, or abort-to-orbit trajectory.


Image credit: NASA – Eco sensors during testing

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~ by tellinghistory on December 6, 2007.

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