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NASA News Science

Shuttle Launch Delayed Again, Possibly Until December 111

An anonymous reader writes "NASA engineers worked overnight trying to fix the electrical problem that forced the launch of space shuttle Discovery to be delayed again. Mission managers will meet later Wednesday to figure out if a launch on Thursday is even possible. The tentative plan is to have Discovery lift off Thursday at 3:29pm. If that does not happen it would be rescheduled for Sunday. If it cannot launch Sunday then it will have to wait until December. NASA engineers have a lot of work on their hands Wednesday morning. Discovery has an electrical issue that forced officials to postpone its liftoff, which had been rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon."
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Shuttle Launch Delayed Again, Possibly Until December

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  • Why bother? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kurt555gs ( 309278 ) <kurt555gs@ov i . c om> on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @03:46PM (#34116062) Homepage

    The shuttle was an misconceived expensive piece of junk designed to make the Russians go broke copying it. (Read Buran). We should have never given up on the Saturn V as out heavy lift platform.

    Why not just move the remaining Shuttles to museums like the Smithonian and Wright/Pat and display them as the costly mistakes they are.

    We also could build a modern Saturn V with better metallurgy, and computers very easily. I think the reason we don't is that the design is public domain and the usual contractors can't charge 10 times what it is worth.

    So there!

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @03:57PM (#34116206)

    Thus speaks someone who as never seen a launch and believes things like the Hubble telescope shouldn't be serviced.

    As for Russia, they'd hardly go broken when they could put satellites in orbit for under $1m. Materials are cheap, labor more so under the Soviets.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:05PM (#34116992)

    Or, more to the point: it would cost about the same to launch a whole new Hubble, with ACS on board, that it cost to service the one on orbit. The latter carried less risk, I guess.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @05:16PM (#34117102) Homepage

    require an RTLS abort which is probably unsurvivable

    It's certainly untried. There's never been a successful post-launch Shuttle abort. On three occasions, there have been shutdowns on the pad after engine start. STS-51F did an abort to orbit after an unexpected shutdown of one main engine. But that's a near-normal flight diverted to a lower orbit. The Challenger disaster was the closest to a situation when an RTLS might have been attempted, but the vehicle damage was too great to even try.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.