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NASA Monitors Sensors as Launch Approaches

NASA has neither found nor fixed the fuel sensor fault that halted the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery two weeks ago. So it's turning to the ultimate test: setting another launch in motion, planned for mid-morning Tuesday.

The Discovery mission will be the first space shuttle flight since the fatal 2003 Columbia accident, in which the crew was killed upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

NASA managers say that Tuesday's launch, scheduled for 10:39 a.m. ET, will go ahead even if a fuel-sensor glitch -- which forced the cancellation of Discovery's launch two weeks ago -- is again detected.

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David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.