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NASA Space Science

NASA Delays Discovery's Final Launch To February 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-you-brought-a-blanket,-keith dept.
Velcroman1 writes "NASA has postponed the launch of space shuttle Discovery's final mission to no earlier than early February — the latest in a long string of delays that have kept the spacecraft grounded for more than a month. Discovery is now slated to launch no earlier than Feb. 3, with the delay allowing NASA engineers more time to analyze why small cracks developed in the shuttle's huge external fuel tank. The cracks have since been repaired, but NASA wants to make sure similar issues don't pose a future concern."
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NASA Delays Discovery's Final Launch To February

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  • Patience and Safety (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday December 03, 2010 @03:48PM (#34435946)
    I hope their final voyage is a safe one, and one day we will have a manned mission back to the Moon and maybe to Mars.

    Here is a cool infographic I found on the Space Shuttle [space.com]
  • Shuttle vs. Everyone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Friday December 03, 2010 @04:19PM (#34436462) Homepage Journal
    Meanwhile [spaceflightnow.com], various [spaceflightnow.com] other [spaceflightnow.com] launch [spaceflightnow.com] systems [spaceflightnow.com], that aren't pork-bloated, politically-designed flying bricks, just keep chugging along with their launches and schedules successfully. I suppose this is what happens when politicians and business majors decide they can be engineers. Go figure
  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Friday December 03, 2010 @05:08PM (#34437266)

    I don't know who or why they would push the launch to Dec 17. First of all, the Shuttle is not tested across a year boundary, and the last flight is not the time to be testing to see if this works. (Dates are complex enough, and handling all possible date transitions is even harder. Thus it's easier to not fly the Shuttle across a New Year transition rather than have to test everything to ensure it can handle it).

    I believe it was supposed to be a 10 day mission, so if it launches Dec 17, it means it returns Dec 27. Which gives you 4 days before you're in test-pilot mode (the missions may get extended unexpectedly due to launch delays or weather on return). While I doubt the shuttle would just explode when the clock ticks over, 4 days doesn't seem like a lot of leeway.

    All they had to do was push it another couple of weeks and they'd have a whole year to schedule and launch. At least it seems saner heads have prevailed.

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