Unconfirmed sources inside Nasa report the agency will recall Discovery cutting short it’s mission to the International Space Station. The action will be taken in light of the failure of safety systems that caused the loss of the Columbia and Challenger spacecraft. Nasa and NTSB engineers have traced the cause of the safety systems failures to the rear power lift gate latch.
The rear power lift gate latch was added to the Shuttle Discovery for the connivence of the fight crew, but has been the source of endless problems. In April of 2005 the Chrysler corporation voluntarily recalled more than 70,000 mini vans that featured a similar rear power lift gate latch mechanism. The automaker says the power liftgate latch on some minivans and space craft may become stuck and could cause the gate to open while the car or space craft is moving.
Nasa engineers fear the same event could happen while the Shuttle Discovery is in orbit. The Shuttles power lift gate latch is the same basic design , but was manufactured by Nasa contractors for millions of dollars more. Mission commander was surprised to learn about the flaw. “This is a spaceship, If the power lift gate opens we won’t lose a trunk load of groceries, we will lose billion dollar satellite.”
Fearing the loss of the shuttle Discovery would mean the end of US manned space flight Nasa has to take drastic action. Nasa administrator said in a press briefing “We put a call into AAA , now we wait.”