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Space Science

Dennis Threatens Discovery Launch Date 186

BitFluid writes "According to, hurricane Dennis is casting doubt on the shuttle's July 13th launch date. From the article: 'NASA has until the end of July to send Discovery on a flight to the international space station, otherwise it must wait until September to ensure a daylight launch.' Shuttle managers decided Thursday evening to begin initial preparations to move Discovery from the pad, as the hurricane increased in intensity and headed toward the Gulf of Mexico and Florida's southern tip. NASA spokesman George Diller said, 'We're going to keep our options open. We're still trying to protect the 13th.'"
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Dennis Threatens Discovery Launch Date

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  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @01:33PM (#13014914)
    On the contrary. She's forcing her children (ie. us) to grow up. That's why she's destroying 30-year-old technology like the space shuttle, thus forcing us to look forward towards new space vehicle designs.
  • Re:Poor Location (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GlassUser ( 190787 ) <> on Friday July 08, 2005 @01:33PM (#13014918) Homepage Journal
    Why, again, are NASA launches based in Florida? They always seem to schedule launches during the 'hurricane season'
    Why don't they pack up shop and move to Texas or New Mexico? If they can set off a nuke there, I think a rocket accident is the least of their worries.

    It needs to be at low lattitudes, to reduce the push required to get into orbit, and being on the east coast makes it easier to ship lots of stuff in by barge.

    But most importantly, politics.
  • Re:so what (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alex P Keaton in da ( 882660 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @01:35PM (#13014935) Homepage
    From the article Managers want the best possible views of Discovery at liftoff to see if any foam insulation or other debris falls off the tank and hits the shuttle, as happened during Columbia's 2003 flight.
    Forgive me, but what good would that do? So they could give the astronauts a few seconds to make peace if it is a problem that effects liftoff?
    It seems to me that the shuttle has some serious issues... I mean, if they notice debris falling and damaging the shuttle, what can they do, is the shuttle carrying spare parts for a spacewalk repair of the exterior?
    My opinion, the beurocracy is the problem... Why can the X prize competitors do what they do, but NASA, with many times the budget, has these problems? It must lie in the beurocracy.
  • Re:Some more info... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by part_of_you ( 859291 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @01:56PM (#13015118) Journal
    Once I was in an airplane, approaching for landing. The weather was bad, rain, wind and such. The pilot attempted to land the plane, and we got about 100 ft. off the ground, but then suddenly, the plane pulled up and we were going back up. The pilot came on and said that he could not land the plane due to lack of a good visual. Most of the people on the plane were on business, and got mad. I over-heard one angry man bitching about not being on time. The flight attendant told the man that this was one of the most experienced pilots that flew for whatever airline that was. The man said "well then why couldn't he land the fucking plane then!" The flight attendant said, "If he wasn't so experienced, he wouldn't have attempted a landing at all sir."

    Make of it what you will. But I think NASA doesn't need to please anyone, except the people that will be on board the shuttle.

  • Re:Poor Location (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saider ( 177166 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:25PM (#13015343)
    Also keep in mind that by having mission control half way across the country, the engineers had to do some pioneering work in communications. Think of them as the first telecommuters. We take it for granted now, but in the 50's, there was not the communications infrastructure needed to do this.
  • Re:Apollo 12 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:27PM (#13015364)
    I think it was the Soviets who followed the shuttle with their lasers in their version of star wars. This rendered circuitry inoperable for few seconds & crew were blinded momentarily. US lodged complaint with USSR about the incident. Soviets did this to warn US. []

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