Shuttle Launch Could Be Delayed Into Next Year

Shuttle Discovery still on the launchpad. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today.

While NASA managers have targeted space shuttle Discovery’s launch for no earlier than Dec. 17, they also said they don’t want to rush to any conclusions on the cracks found on the shuttle’s external tank. Therefore, shuttle program manager John Shannon said that if the team doesn’t completely understand the issues, they won’t launch until they do. That might mean mid-December, or it might mean they wait for the next launch window, which is in February of 2011 — or even later.

“It’s a complex problem,” said Shannon. “We really need to understand our risk. Clearly we’re not ready for the December 3 -7 window that’s coming up.” (…) Read the rest of Shuttle Launch Could Be Delayed Into Next Year (342 words)

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