NASA: Discovery launch on schedule

April 25, 2006
Space shuttle Discovery

NASA officials say the scheduled launch of the shuttle Discovery is still expected in July, despite several accidents and technical problems.

Discovery has flown only one mission since the Columbia disaster in February 2003 and there are continuing problems with fuel-tank insulating foam, which doomed the Columbia and was noted during Discovery's return-to-flight mission last year, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

There were so many accidents at the Kennedy Space Center during the past winter, the director of the center ordered all work halted for two hours while workers were lectured on safety procedures. The next day a worker was killed in a fall from a warehouse roof.

Nevertheless, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin last week said work was proceeding toward a July 1 lift-off.

Discovery initially had been scheduled to fly in May, but NASA postponed that launch to complete modifications to the shuttle's large external fuel tank, as well as deal with other technical issues.

The Times said NASA must launch at least two shuttle flights this year to get back on schedule building the International Space Station before the shuttle fleet is retired in 2010.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: James Webb Space Telescope receives first mirror installation

Related Stories

NASA vs. cigarettes—a numbers game

November 17, 2015

People often criticize the amount of money spent on space exploration. Sometimes it's well-meaning friends and family who say that that money is wasted, and would be better spent on solving problems here on Earth. In fact, ...

NASA's Operation IceBridge completes twin polar campaigns

November 24, 2015

NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, recently finalized two overlapping campaigns at both of Earth's poles. Down south, the mission observed a big drop in the height of two glaciers situated in the ...

Swift spacecraft spots its thousandth gamma-ray burst

November 6, 2015

NASA's Swift spacecraft has detected its 1,000th gamma-ray burst (GRB). GRBs are the most powerful explosions in the universe, typically associated with the collapse of a massive star and the birth of a black hole.

Recommended for you

Study finds 'rudimentary' empathy in macaques

December 1, 2015

(—A pair of researchers with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Lyon, in France has conducted a study that has shown that macaques have at least some degree of empathy towards their fellow ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.