Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
NASA

Endeavour Launch Delayed For At Least 48 Hours 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the safety-first dept.
shuz writes "At 10:15 am Eastern time the launch of Endeavour has been scrubbed for a minimum of 48 hours. The scrub is due to two failed Auxiliary Power Unit heaters." The delay is surely a disappointment to the biggest crowds since the Apollo days; let's hope it gets back on track more quickly than Discovery did for its final launch.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Endeavour Launch Delayed For At Least 48 Hours

Comments Filter:
  • I hope Brevard County schools still close early for the anticipated traffic that would engulf the region because of the, now delayed, launch. It's a Friday! Let my brothers go home early.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm sorely tempted to take time of work and go for a road trip this June to see the final launch. Not sure if my 14-year-old car can take it but damn I want to go.

    • If you can, do it. You won't regret it. I saw STS-133, and though I'd probably not make the all-out push to do it a second time, I'm extremely happy that I did so once.
    • Endeavour is about 20 years old, if it can take it, so can your car.

  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Friday April 29, 2011 @12:50PM (#35976240)

    Since NASA is on a shoestring budget and the US government doesn't see space exploration as a priority then I suppose delays and failures are inevitable?

    China on the other hand can blow huge amounts of cash just like the USSR could before it split up, even more so given China is the workshop of the world.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      NASA desperately needs to get public attention in order to get funding. Having an event such as this collide with a royal wedding just won't do. I expected a delay.

    • by Brucelet (1857158)
      Delays to Shuttle launches have nothing to do with the current budget. It's just a function trying to work with immensely complicated machines. Of course one can argue about how they could have been designed to be less prone to launch delays, but that ship sailed 30 years ago.
    • by FTL (112112) <slashdot&neil,fraser,name> on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:51PM (#35977096) Homepage

      Sorry, your facts are reversed. NASA's budget is $17 billion. China's space budget is $1.3 billion. Russia's space budget is $2.4 billion.

      For eight times the money, the US manages to reach approximate parity with the Russians. This is the result of the badly designed Space Shuttle program which over its lifetime has cost $1.5 billion per launch.

      Looking forward, SpaceX is on track to cut US launch costs by a factor of ten. That will make the US the #1 place to launch rockets -- for the first time since the 1970s.

      • Re:Shoestring budget (Score:5, Informative)

        by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 29, 2011 @03:20PM (#35978272) Homepage

        For eight times the money, the US manages to reach approximate parity with the Russians.

        How many probes do the Russians have one the surface of Mars? How many in orbit around it? Or Mercury? How many of the station components have the Russian's delivered?
         
        For our budget we do a hell of a lot more than Russians - whose space program consists mostly of a taxi and FedEx service to the station, the GLONASS navigation constellation, and power points outlining their brave new future.
         

        This is the result of the badly designed Space Shuttle program which over its lifetime has cost $1.5 billion per launch.

        Actually, the Shuttle only costs $250 million to launch (that is, the cost to add a Shuttle mission to the manifest.), the balance is the individual flight's portion of the fixed costs. The funny thing is when you add up the costs of the Soyuz and Proton boosters needed to replace a single Shuttle launch... you come in around $300 million dollars. (Mostly because of the horrible crew:passenger ratio of Soyuz.)

        • by khallow (566160)

          Actually, the Shuttle only costs $250 million to launch

          Plus another $200 million in refurbishing costs to return the Shuttle to flight-ready status. After all, none of the Shuttles are flown once. Then there's about $2 billion per year in fixed costs from the workforce and maintaining the infrastructure. But yes, the origin poster is right about the average cost of the Shuttle over its lifespan, especially once you include R&D and the costs of the orbiters. As I see it, that's one of the great disappointments of the Shuttle.

          How many probes do the Russians have one the surface of Mars? How many in orbit around it? Or Mercury? How many of the station components have the Russian's delivered?

          Sure, it's nice that the US has a

          • Sure, it's nice that the US has an expensive hobby which occasionally results in missions to other planets. But for the money spent, I figure they should have several hundred missions still active. We live in an era of diminished expectations. The one-eyed man is king in this land.

            You should see how much stuff NASA is working on [nasa.gov], most of it is dull basic science (where government belongs, a 15 billion dollar telescope to look at the early universe isn't profitable) so it isn't in the public eye.

            • by khallow (566160)

              You should see how much stuff NASA is working on,

              I have. That's part of the reason I'm disappointed in the bang for buck that NASA has. A considerable number of these missions are joint missions with other space programs (such as ESA and JAXA), meaning it really counts as a partial mission. Some aren't space probes and hence, not counted by me (eg, Space Shuttle, J-2X engine development, "fire and smoke").

    • by khallow (566160)

      Since NASA is on a shoestring budget and the US government doesn't see space exploration as a priority then I suppose delays and failures are inevitable?

      China on the other hand can blow huge amounts of cash just like the USSR could before it split up, even more so given China is the workshop of the world.

      The chasm between your understanding and the reality of current space activities is vast. NASA's budget ($19 billion per year) is more than triple the combined budgets of the Russian ($3.8 billion per year) and Chinese ($1.3 billion estimated per year) space agencies.

      But that doesn't get at the scale of squandering going on in government space programs. SpaceX (a much abused example on these forums) developed in the US (a country not known for its cheap manufacturing costs) three engines (Merlin, Draco,

      • And all that was developed for less than a year of Chinese space program (roughly $800-$1 billion spent in total) and nine years of time.

        But the Chinese, unlike SpaceX, have a family of proven launch vehicles, have put men on orbit thrice, have launched multiple satellites into Earth orbit and two into Lunar orbit.

        Meanwhile a small private corporation based in LA is shaming the best government space programs on the planet.

        Oh? Many astronauts has said corporation on orbit? How many landers on the M

        • by khallow (566160)

          So tell me again. what exactly have they've done to 'shame' everyone else?

          I already did. They developed a family of rockets with a number of launches (enough so that SpaceX now looks like another successful beginning of a launch family) on less than anyone else. And frankly, they look on track to uncut everyone with reliable and cheap launch vehicles. It'll be interesting to see how your points will be addressed over the next decade when SpaceX actually begins to handle some of the load of launching satellites and manned missions.

          I have refrained from making predictions in the

  • by OscarGunther (96736) on Friday April 29, 2011 @12:53PM (#35976278) Journal

    Was I the only one who saw this right above the Spolsky-likes-group-lunch article and wondered why the Shuttle's afternoon meal had been delayed? Sick kid kept me up last night...

  • Discussions are ongoing but it looks to be longer than 48 hours is the most likely situation. Sadly, my version of the Royal Wedding has been postponed for the day and possibly the whole weekend. Shitty.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He wanted to double check a few things after he found out he was going [slashdot.org].

  • by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfile.mindless@com> on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:02PM (#35976424) Journal

    Is there no government run transport system that runs to schedule?

  • They just announced that it will be a minimum 72 hour delay on the live broadcast. Something about problems with fuel line heaters.
    • by arth1 (260657)

      fuel lines are rather important. I'm sure they want to make a good impression, and go out with a bang. Well, er.

  • by cusco (717999) <brian.bixbyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:13PM (#35976606)
    The largest crowd that I know of for a NASA launch was the third liftoff of Columbia, which I hitchiked across the state to view from Cocoa Beach. That was just over one million. This one is estimated at 500,000 to 750,000.
  • Must be this guy [theonion.com] screwing with the launch times again. Jerk.
  • With an expected 3/4 million people flocking to that area of Florida, it's disappointing to see a delay. But I am glad that our engineer are still following the safety guidelines. Traffic will be ugly for those trying to leave the coast and people on their daily commute, but this is life here in Florida. Those many people will grumble about the traffic, but it's part of the excitement. At least the tolls were suspended to help ease the traffic burden through Orlando.

    For those who get to see the launch,

  • I was very disappointed at how little coverage this launch was receiving due to all the news outlets being so heavily focused on the royal wedding. Hopefully this will allow it to have more of the attention that it deserves.

  • I would've gone with: "Shuttle program extended."
  • I don't know what's wrong with these idiots. Don't they know how bad this is for PR. They should just bite the bullet and launch anyway. No risk, no reward is what I say. It worked out so well for Reagan...

  • It's a 3hr drive for me and it would kill me to commit to seeing a launch and then have to make the trip three or four times until they finally meet the schedule. The streaming TV is nice. I'll usually head outside if the launch is a go and get a good 15 seconds of visibility as the shuttle clears the horizon clutter, before the SRB's separate. Had a pretty good view back in elementary school when Challenger blew.

  • Then I'd say NASA [slashdot.org] has the right man at the right time to quickly repair it.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

Working...