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Space Shuttle Launch Delayed Until July 77

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the another-in-a-long-line-of-dissapointments dept.
DarkNemesis618 writes "NASA decided on Tuesday to delay the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery until July, squashing all hopes that it would launch in May. The external fuel tank is again the culprit, but this time it's not the foam. One of the four fuel sensors in the fuel tank that control when the space shuttle's main engines cut off was discovered to be faulty. This delay does however, give NASA the time it needs to decide what to do about the small crack found on the robotic arm. Over a week ago, a worker bumped the arm leaving a small crack in it. The arm is key to this next mission as the cameras and lasers used to inspect the shuttle for damage are mounted on the robotic arm. All things aside, NASA engineers are saying that the next possible launch date will be July 1st."
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Space Shuttle Launch Delayed Until July

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  • This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:19PM (#14921286)
    As much as some moan about the concept, turning space into a tourist attraction may be the only way we're ever really going to get off this rock. It's pretty apparent that NASA isn't going to be doing much more than sending out probes. Not to say that probes aren't needed but we need to be a bit more mobile. Life is not a spectators sport.
    • Re:This is news? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by creimer (824291) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:29PM (#14921325) Homepage
      A Fourth of July launch with George Bush and American flags all over the last place? No problem. Unless the shuttle goes boom in a real bad way. That might put an end to the manned space program and going back to Moon and Mars. Don't want a repeat of the Challenger disaster, where that shuttle launch was supposed coincide with President Reagan's State of The Union address and a phone call to the first teacher in space. NASA would be launching space probes if that was to happen again.
      • NASA would be launching space probes if that was to happen again.

        With any luck NASA will be disbanded in the next decade.
      • A Fourth of July launch with George Bush and American flags all over the last place?

        I'm pretty sure no sane national politician wants to be associated with this clunker. Maybe if it brings jobs to his district.

        I'm sure Bush'll give a nice speech if everything goes well and an even nicer one if it doesn't.

      • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @08:36AM (#14923151) Homepage
        Talk to an astronaut, and they all understand the risks of manned space flight. It wouldn't stop them for a second, though.

        How many people died discovering the new world? How many died in WWII defending western democracy?

        Somebody is going to put men on mars and the moon. Maybe it'll be China or Japan instead of the USA. Maybe it'll be Russia. If we are unwilling to accept the risk, then we will not share in the reward.
      • A Fourth of July launch with George Bush and American flags all over the last place? No problem. Unless the shuttle goes boom in a real bad way. That might put an end to the manned space program and going back to Moon and Mars. Don't want a repeat of the Challenger disaster, where that shuttle launch was supposed coincide with President Reagan's State of The Union address and a phone call to the first teacher in space.

        An ongoing rumor (Challenger/Reagan) for which no shred of evidence has ever been found

        • I remember the Challenger incident quite well. There was pressure on NASA to get the shuttle up in space so President Reagan could make the "historic" phone call to the first teacher in space during the middle of the State of the Union address. Of course, the Reagan Administration denied that there was any pressure on NASA or that they made arrangements to have a phone call made. I always did like the Reagan Administration for having a "it's sunny and you're rich" spin on the events.
          • I remember the Challenger incident quite well. There was pressure on NASA to get the shuttle up in space so President Reagan could make the "historic" phone call to the first teacher in space during the middle of the State of the Union address.

            You state that as if it were a fact - please privide a reference or a cite.

            Of course, the Reagan Administration denied that there was any pressure on NASA or that they made arrangements to have a phone call made. I always did like the Reagan Administration for havi

    • Re:This is news? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by heatdeath (217147)
      turning space into a tourist attraction may be the only way we're ever really going to get off this rock

      Why exactly do we need to get off of this rock, again? I mean, star trek is cool and everything, but until we're close to being able to teraform other planets, it's not going to be terribly useful to send people to live in space. The historical need for humans to be sent to different places in space has been the lack of ability to remote-control things because of time delays, but I guarentee you that AI
      • Re:This is news? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by east coast (590680) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:46PM (#14921392)
        I mean, star trek is cool and everything, but until we're close to being able to teraform other planets, it's not going to be terribly useful to send people to live in space.

        Please, don't insult me with your Star Trek comments.

        There are TONS [direct.ca] of [thespacereview.com] resources [markelowitz.com] out there for the taking, resources that would make expensive technology inexpensive.

        the problem is preventing us from turning earth into a rock. How about we focus on that instead of being in such a hurry to leave it.

        Are you only capable of doing one thing in your life? I'm all for making things better here but don't act like we have to choose between the two.
        • Yes, there are "tons of resources". Now address why, as the gp mentioned, you think humans should be involved in gathering them at all, given that robotic missions usually are a 20th the price of an equivalent manned mission.

          I should add, however, that lunar resources are pretty dismal. Yes, there's helium 3, but helium itself is in ppm quantities on the moon and helium 3 a small fraction of the total lunar helium. Meanwhile, we don't even have a Dt-T fusion reactor let alone an He3 reactor, *And* we can
          • "Yes, there are "tons of resources". Now address why, as the gp mentioned, you think humans should be involved in gathering them at all, given that robotic missions usually are a 20th the price of an equivalent manned mission."

            Small scale mining missions would probably be cheaper with robots, yes - once the scale gets larger it becomes economically viable to have technicians on hand to fix things that go wrong. Once the scale gets larger still, it becomes viable to have entire colonies to do the mining.

            We'
            • Scale makes humans even more unneeded. It never becomes economical to send humans to fix things when you could send robots without needing habitation, radiation shielding, air, food, water, entertainment, sleeping quarters, toilet facilities, etc.

              That is, unless you can reduce launch costs. Right now, you're balancing the cost of developing robotics to accomplish a given task with the cost of launching many tonnes of initial mass and several tonnes of annual resupply to keep humans alive, and there's no c
              • The cost of having a human technican on site is a constant, regardless of scale. The benefit, however, increases as the number of things for him to fix increases. There becomes a point where the money saved by not having to bring things back to be fixed or even completely replace them outweighs the cost of keeping a human there. Exactly where that point it does indeed depend on costs of things like launches, but the point is somewhere. (Of course, at current costs that point might require more mining tha
                • The larger the tasks you're picturing need to be done, the more people you need. Scale doesn't help you. With current launch prices to the moon, there's no way humans could even dream of being more efficient than robotics in terms of fixing things.

                  Lets say 25k$/kg to the moon, initial setup overall is 30,000 kg, per person is 20,000 kg and annual resupply is 2,500kg. That wouldn't pay for any return trips, but lets pretend that they're convicts exported to the moon for life ;) Do the numbers sound high
                  • I think your ratio of initial setup to per person is off by quite a bit. The extra cost of making a 2 person base rather than a 1 person base is quite small relative to the cost of the first person. The living space doesn't need to be twice the size. The square-cube law means you need less materials to build a larger dome (proportionally). Atmosphere cycling needs to be increased linearly, but I expect the cost of it isn't linear.

                    Also, even taking into account that most of your last sentence was an exag
                    • The cost of making a 2 person base rather than a 1 person base is quite small

                      The living space *does* need to be almost doubled, the life support systems need to be double capacity, etc. I was being extremely kind by my numbers (1 person = 50k kg, 2 people = 70k kg). I also left out some massive costs from that budget - for example, the development of a new heavy lift vehicle.

                      Overestimating the value of 1.2 billion dollars

                      In robotics, 1.2 billion dollars is an utter fortune. Any task a human might need to
                    • Here, lets just further my point a bit more. Asimo rents for $160k/yr. 1.2 billion would get you 7500 robot years of Asimo. All you need to control it on the moon is a 802.11 transmitter on the surface. Buy or mass produce Asimos, and you could easily increase that many-fold (a new asimo is currently $1m with current production rates - you could buy 1,200 of them assuming no mass production). Heck, Honda would probably supply Asimos for cheap or free just for the publicity ;) Yet Asimo has a lot of "
                    • Do those robots of yours work in the extreme range of temperatures you get on the moon? A better comparison would be to existing space probes - say the Mars rovers. Apparently they cost a little short of a billion dollars for 2. Getting to the moon is slightly cheaper than to Mars, and mass production reduces costs, so you're talking a billion or 2 for a lunar mining operation - much higher than your prices.

                      You also need to factor in the cost of getting whatever you mine back to Earth. Chances are you'r
                    • extreme temperature range

                      You mean the one that far worse for humans?

                      mars rovers ... billion dollars for two

                      Much of that was launch cost. Most of the rest was scientific equipment development costs.

                      getting what you mine back to earth

                      The entire premise is just plain silly. There's nothing worth mining on the moon anyways, as I demonstrated way back in the thread without anyone contesting the basic point.

                      ignoring hydroponics

                      Ignoring that astronauts consume 3,000 calories per day, plants grow slowly, farms ar
      • Re:This is news? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kimvette (919543) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @11:16PM (#14921503) Homepage Journal
        By that logic, why did you ever leave Mommy and Daddy to go out on your own (or have you yet)? This is intended to be funny and drive across the point, BTW, and not an attack.

        Why go to a bar, or to a movie? It's not even remotely useful to do either since they do not provide a living.

        Ever go skiing? Why go up a mountain just to take a huge risk balancing on narrow pieces of fibreglass while sliding down the side of a mountain at 60-90mph, when at any moment you might just fall and end up crashing into a tree and dying?

        Why bother doing ANYTHING?

        It's human nature. Why not explore? I would LOVE to see the gas giants up close - especially Jupiter and Saturn. I would love visit the Horsehead nebulae up close. I would love to visit the vicinity of a black hole just to find out whether it is actually visible or not. I would love to visit a brown dwarf to see just what happens while a star "dies."

        Wouldn't it be fascinating? For no other reason than to SEE it. In person. Wonder in amazment at the universe.

        We're human. We explore. We have curiousity. Of COURSE we want to get off this "rock" - does there have to be any reason other than "it's out there, and I have never been there." - to paraphrase from The Truman Show - "Because I never have! That's why people go places, isn't it?"

        Does there HAVE to be a tangible result?

        of course, I'd love to see an end to political strife, starvation, etc. first before spending money on space exploration, but again, it's all human nature and it's human nature to bicker and those issues will never be solved, so why not spend money on exploration?
        • Re:This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rei (128717) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @02:00AM (#14922201) Homepage
          There's a more fundamental bit of logic one must apply. Believe me, I know what you're talking about: few here *wouldn't* like to be able to go into space. Even seeing others do it is a rush at times. But lets back up for a moment. Payload launch costs are 7,000$/kg, and that's if you go Russian (unless you get a special deal, which is known to happen). Manned launch costs are even more pricey than just paying to ship your mass up. Only the rich can afford that, plain and simple. And there's only one thing that can change this state of affairs: money. Lots and lots and lots of money invested in tech, tech, launch subsidies (to help build a self-sustaining industry), and more tech.

          If we blow our space budgets flying people around the cosmos with current launch prices, that's all we're doing: blowing our budgets. Better to put the money into tech research (and stick to cheapo robotic probes to satisfy our exploration needs for now) than to have a few select humans darting about space on economically unsustainable joyrides.
          • And there's only one thing that can change this state of affairs: [overpriced launches] money. Lots and lots and lots of money invested in tech, tech, launch subsidies (to help build a self-sustaining industry), and more tech.

            And it's this misguided view thats precisely why launch costs remain so expensive - that tech and money is the answer to everything. We have the technology. We've had the technology for forty years.

            But the politics of the Space Race forced us down an evolutionary dead end.

            Instead o

            • We have the technology

              Really? Fascinating! Explain to me the technology we have to produce CVD diamond panels for rentry shielding, and for more efficient carbon-carbon production. Explain to me the technology we have for alane rocket boosters and metastable helium. Explain to me the technology we have for scramjet engines. Explain to me the tech we have for gas/plasma injection during reentry. Explain to me the technology we have for MPD thrusters. Explain the technology we have for our nuclear ther
              • We have the technology

                Really? Fascinating! Explain to me the technology we have to produce CVD diamond panels for rentry shielding, and for more efficient carbon-carbon production. Explain to me the technology we have for alane rocket boosters and metastable helium. Explain to me the technology we have for scramjet engines. Explain to me the tech we have for gas/plasma injection during reentry. Explain to me the technology we have for MPD thrusters. Explain the technology we have for our nuclear thermal ro
                • SpaceX doesn't have any of those technologies, and yet they've still managed to develop an orbital rocket which costs much less than the competition.

                  Yes, they did a good job at taking current tech and optimizing it (although I'd bet money that those prices won't stick; Delta IV heavy's and Ariane's didn't). They're still way too expensive, and you really can't go much further down than that with current tech unless A) the satellite market gets a tremendous boom far beyond anything we've seen in the past, j
              • We have the technology

                Really? Fascinating! Explain to me the technology we have to:

                [snip list of handwaving fanboy fantasies]

                That's just the point - we don't need any of those techologies. Not one.

                Take heatshields for example - we don't some exotic material that may or may not work when it hits the real world. 'old fashioned' fiberglass and resin works just fine. What we need is to *automate the production of the heatshields*. Rather than designing them to the .9999 percentile, build bigger rockets s

                • [snip list of handwaving fanboy fantasies]

                  So "fanboy" that multiple governments and governmental agencies worldwide decided to work on them.

                  That's just the point - we don't need any of those techologies. Not one.

                  Thanks for your psychic predictions of what will actually work out to produce cheap space access.

                  Take heatshields for example - we don't some exotic material that may or may not work when it hits the real world. 'old fashioned' fiberglass and resin works just fine.

                  Bzzzt. Fiberglass isn't even close

        • By that logic, why did you ever leave Mommy and Daddy to go out on your own (or have you yet)?

          Space exploration doesn't have to be cowboy-style and risk human lives anymore, we have machines that can do that now (unlike the Apollo days when most of the motivation was to upstage the Soviets for PR value).
      • because eventually some other rock is gonna hit this rock and if we're all still stuck on this rock, well...
      • Re:This is news? (Score:3, Interesting)

        mean, star trek is cool and everything, but until we're close to being able to teraform other planets, it's not going to be terribly useful to send people to live in space.

        And how do you expect us to learn how to terraform other planets without going out there? For that matter, why do you think we need to terraform them? Space is full of resources just waiting to be exploited, but to do that, we're going to have to get out there because there's just so much you can do with robots and probes and it's jus

    • Re:This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by brother bloat (888898) <brother,bloat&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:33PM (#14921348) Homepage
      Without proper funding, the space program can't do a heck of a lot. Right now, even the international space station has barely enough funding for maintenence, let along cutting-edge research.

      Maybe commercial space flight will do something to jump-start space exploration once more.
      • Without proper funding, the space program can't do a heck of a lot.

        The shuttle program has many problems, but a lack of funding isn't one of them. From a recent post by Clark Lindsay's RLV News [hobbyspace.com]: ... For example, the paper [colorado.edu] notes that "conventional wisdom" holds that if NASA had gotten all the funding it wanted and allowed to build one of the original Shuttle designs, which included a fully reusable fly-back first stage, it could have achieved the original Shuttle mission goals of frequent flights (~50 per ye
      • The core problem of funding is that a government space program - NASA - doesn't get its' money back. For a repeat performance, it has to tax people all over again, and there are political and economic limits.

        A private, commercial space program is predicated on profit. It may be a bit slow starting, but if properly run, it makes back more than the money it invests. The next time, it can go further. There is no theoretical ceiling on the funding of a for-profit space program, so long as it continues turning a
    • If the commercial space travel agencies don't take the same cautions that NASA is in delaying these launches, we could have a very serious number of fatal accidents.
      • If the commercial space travel agencies don't take the same cautions that NASA is in delaying these launches, we could have a very serious number of fatal accidents.

        And it'll be up to the people paying for rides on those rockets whether or not that's a risk they want to take, much like they decide if getting in an automobile is worth the risk. Regrettably, it's also possible that a well-publicized accident early on might result in congressmen pushing for legislation to protect people from their own decision
        • The Russians couldn't. And lets not even talk about the percentage of Ariane-5 failures thusfar, assuming Europe were to actually fund one of their proposed manned launch vehicles.

          Space travel is bloody dangerous, plain and simple.

          Lets look at it a different way. What caused the delay? A fuel sensor. One of *four*. You only need one working fuel sensor to measure your fuel levels. Sounds like being extremely overcautious, doesn't it? Well, it might until you think of the fact that there are hundreds
    • Re:This is news? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by slashdot_commentator (444053) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @01:54AM (#14922180) Journal

      As much as some moan about the concept, turning space into a tourist attraction may be the only way we're ever really going to get off this rock.

      You should be careful about presuming the underlying conditions will remain to give you a sustainable result. You have to realize your worldview is based on a life experience in the US, which has experienced a vast amount of economic wealth since the 1950's, and has been pissing it away ever since. Its like living off your credit card, presuming you'll eventually get a higher paying job to pay off the debts. The world doesn't work like that, and that experience is almost a chapter in history.

      There is no future higher paying job (unless you're in the health care industry). The US has abandoned its industrial base, the industries it had an economic advantage in, and is so f*cking up its high tech industries and education, it will not even have that as a growth industry. You have a brain that can find a cure for AIDS or the next technological marvel? Fine, you have a future. Everyone else will be a form of wage slave or white collar con-man.

      NASA & the Apollo space programs existed for two reasons. 1) The US was so ridiculously rich, it wanted to piss away tax dollars to aerospace companies. 2) The US was in a military competition and wanted to divert dollars to military-industrial complex without calling it weapons. There may be a new boom in space exploration, but it won't be led by the US. It will be too financially broken from its non-critical military adventurism. And if the gov't is bankrupt, be sure there will not be lots of new millionaires to take up the space exploration spending slack.

      Already, only one third of our US budget is deemed "discretionary" spending. That means if we nuked every social welfare program, education subsidy, stopped all subsidized construction, opened our border to illegals and terrorists, allowed interstate crime to go unchecked, disbanded the military, we would only be able to reduce the total tax burden by a third. The IRS would still have to collect taxes for everything that doesn't enhance our lives, which is interest on treasury debt, and financial obligations, like federal pensions and social security. This is what's called maxing out your credit card; now live like a debt slave. Sure, the US can declare bankruptcy, its called hyperinflation. The rest of the world we owe money to will not take kindly to that. It will be a world wide depression (recession, if the rest of the world is lucky), and we will experience starvation and loss of material wealth (like housing, cars, entertainment devices). No more highspeed Internet or Slashdot, you won't be able to afford it.

      Right now, the Treasury secretary is begging the Congress to raise the debt ceiling, i.e. borrow more money that its currently allowed to by law. If the Congress does not, the gov't will experience chapter 11-like bankruptcy situation; we won't have enough cash to pay currently due bills. Of course, the Congress could choose to just shutdown gov't programs and make the US live within its means. No, we're going to hit the credit card harder this year. You see this crisis on the TV or papers? Nope, stay clueless and happy, mushroom.

      It's pretty apparent that NASA isn't going to be doing much more than sending out probes.

      It may not even be able to do that. Bush cronies, for years, has been looking for ways to loot NASA's science budget (which barely cracks a few billion). But if they kill all space probe exploration, there will be quite a stink. (They're not killing manned programs, because it already helps their buds, like DeLay.) So, what does Bush do? He announces a NEW program to put man back on the moon and to Mars. Forget the fact the US does not have that kind of discretionary spending, like it did in the 1960's. Of course it costs more than probes. So, we take money away from exploring asteroids and Plu

      • Already, only one third of our US budget is deemed "discretionary" spending. That means if we nuked every social welfare program, education subsidy, stopped all subsidized construction, opened our border to illegals and terrorists, allowed interstate crime to go unchecked, disbanded the military, we would only be able to reduce the total tax burden by a third. The IRS would still have to collect taxes for everything that doesn't enhance our lives, which is interest on treasury debt, and financial obligati

    • YES...
  • Is the shuttle program just forgotten about (due to war, bird flu, etc) and the workers just making work to look busy? We ALL know that the shuttle program is going to be scrapped; the Soyuz capsules were purchased because of it! Literally BILLIONS of dollars are being poured down the drain (no, fixing an old shuttle is not new science). The only thing I can see this being used for is to train new scientists.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:33PM (#14921345) Homepage
    They must be revamping the copyprotection.

    • It's a damn shame that it couldn't launch on the fourth of May, to coincide with Star Wars Day. (You know, "May the Fourth be with you")

      I hope they've at least considered using duck tape for the robotic arm.

  • I never quite saw the point of the shuttle(compared to its predecessors) in the first place. I mean, why is it so important to land like an airplane when it still needs to take off on a giant rocket. I applaud NASA on the new designs to get back to technology that actually was reliable. On a side note, why don't they just install heisenberg compensators in the ISS and make everything easy.
    • So you think it should land like a rocket or what? The only landings of rockets I can recall were during wars.
      • how about in the ocean?
      • It's not that I don't think it should land like an airplane(on a runway), its that too much cost has been put into it to make it land that way vs. landing using a parachute. The old apollo capsules fell to the earth with less exposed to burn up during re-entry. I'm not an expert in thermodynamics so someone please corrent me if I'm wrong.

        The point I made about it still taking off on top of giant rockets was my attempt at being silly(how else is it going to aquire enough energy to orbit the planet with te
        • the point was being able to recover stuff and return it to earth in a non-crispy fashion. there was a lot of stuff that went up in the cargo bay and came back in the cargo bay that would have had a really tough time on a parachute landing.

              it also occurs to me that i have a really funny picture somewhere of a probe that was supposed to decelerate via parachutes and the photo is of it halfway into the dirt in the desert. 'cause the chute was mis-implemented.

          eric
          • Re:the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by FleaPlus (6935)
            there was a lot of stuff that went up in the cargo bay and came back in the cargo bay that would have had a really tough time on a parachute landing.

            Do you have examples? I'm under the impression that the cargo retrieval capability was only used once or twice in the Space Shuttle's history, although the Air Force fantasized that they would use it to do things like snatch Soviet satellites out of the sky.
        • It's not that I don't think it should land like an airplane(on a runway), its that too much cost has been put into it to make it land that way vs. landing using a parachute.

          The point of having it land like an airplane is that it's a controlled landing rather than dropping into the ocean as Mercury, Gemini and Apollo did. The shuttle lands where we want it to, at an airport or airbase, instead of needing to be picked up by helicopter and transported by ship. Not only that, it's bigger than would be pract

    • something about cold war needs and to be able to land on any decent runway strip after deploying some kind of payload.
    • Re:the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by everphilski (877346)
      I mean, why is it so important to land like an airplane

      To retrieve Soviet satellites... among other things. So you are right. Prettymuch pointless now. Which is why the CEV removes this requirement.
  • by Lord Satri (609291) <alexandreleroux&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:43PM (#14921386) Homepage Journal
    Galileo just announced the launch delay of Giove-B [bbc.co.uk] for good reasons: Giove-A [slashdot.org] is considered a success and Giove-B will be more useful later this year (september launch instead of spring). I like to call this "preemtive management": plan the second satellite now in case we need it and delay it if we don't , instead of, oops - we would need another satellite since the first one has failed.

    All that said, I hope such preemptive management could be used for NASA's projects. The circumstances are quite different (you know, the budget cuts...), but it's never bad to have a Plan B.
    • Galileo just announced the launch delay of Giove-B for good reasons: Giove-A is considered a success and Giove-B will be more useful later this year (september launch instead of spring). I like to call this "preemtive management": plan the second satellite now in case we need it and delay it if we don't , instead of, oops - we would need another satellite since the first one has failed.

      That's not preemptive managment - it's spin control. GIOVE-A is the backup bird, GIOVE-B is the 'full meal deal'. What

  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:49PM (#14921406)
    "Over a week ago, a worker bumped the arm leaving a small crack in it. The arm is key to this next mission as the cameras and lasers used to inspect the shuttle for damage are mounted on the robotic arm."

    JB Weld
  • Choosing July 4th as the launch date. NASA's recent record has given me an old "Schoolhouse Rock" earworm:

    "There's gonna be fireworks...on the 4th of July. . ."

    Scrap the shuttle already. It's better at killing astronauts than doing manned science in space.
  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @11:20PM (#14921517) Homepage
    Over a week ago, a worker bumped the arm leaving a small crack in it.

    That's got to be one Hell of a bump! I mean, what's that thing made of? Is it a Chihuly?

  • by Ranger (1783) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @12:34AM (#14921894) Homepage
    I think we should scrap the Shuttle now. The US should pay the Russians to keep the ISS on life support until we can replace the shuttle. We should also use reusable boosters to launch the rest of the ISS components. NASA should stop throwing good money after bad. We may want to scale back the ISS and do what research we can with it until we replace it too.
  • If anyone is wondering what that sensor is, it's a sensor meant to sense when the gas tank is empty so the engines can be shut off. The space shuttle engines can't be run until the tank is empty because they might be damaged, or the turbopump might fly apart spraying pieces of hot metal around. It can easily cause a complete failure and death of the crew.

    These sensors have been unreliable since the beginning of the program. Notice that the article said there were four sensors? They are redundant, because th
  • These turkeys should get out of space and leave it to the pros. We would say they should outsource it to China, but given the standard of living ratings, Norway should be the one. Norways has oil, money, and brain power, things neither u.s. or China has.

  • Actually the launch window, according to this article at CNN.com, [cnn.com] extends from July 1st to July 19th.

    So July 1st is the FIRST opportunity to launch, but may not necessarily be THE day that it does launch

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