NASA to speed up shuttle launch schedule

January 6, 2008

NASA officials in Washington plan to double the number of shuttle flights to hasten the completion of the International Space Station amid safety concerns.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it has scheduled six shuttle launches for 2008, twice that of the previous two years, in an effort to complete the assembly of the International Space Station even though there are concerns about the durability and safety of the 27-year-old shuttle fleet, The Washington Post said Sunday.

Recurring electrical problems grounded the space shuttle Atlantis in December, and budgetary, political and maintenance considerations may tempt the fate of future missions.

NASA officials said they're confident the spaceships can complete the work load by the time they are to be retired in September 2010, but critics worry the ambitious schedule may be at the cost of safety.

"This pressure feels so familiar," said Alex Roland, a former NASA historian with Duke University. "It was the same before the Challenger and Columbia disasters: this push to do more with a spaceship that is inherently unpredictable because it is so complex."

NASA officials said the next mission has a tentative launch date of Jan. 24.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA orders additional astronaut taxi flights from Boeing and SpaceX to the ISS

Related Stories

What does a driverless future look like?

December 2, 2016

Imagine a commute where, instead of steering yourself through traffic, you can sip your coffee, get some work done or even nap while your self-driving vehicle makes your commute for you. Or perhaps your whole family could ...

SpaceX's fueling process makes NASA queasy

November 7, 2016

On September 1st, 2016, SpaceX experienced a rather public setback when one of their Falcon 9 rockets exploded on its launchpad at the Cape Canaveral Launch Complex in Florida. Though the accident resulted in no fatalities ...

Recommended for you

Three new gas giant exoplanets discovered by SuperWASP-South

January 18, 2017

(Phys.org)—Astronomers report the discovery of three new gas giant planets using the SuperWASP-South Observatory in South Africa. Two of the newly detected alien worlds were classified as the so-called "warm Jupiters," ...

A catalog of habitable zone exoplanets

January 18, 2017

The last two decades have seen an explosion of detections of exoplanets, as the sensitivity to smaller planets has dramatically improved thanks especially to the Kepler mission. These discoveries have found that the frequency ...

Galaxy murder mystery

January 17, 2017

It's the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what's killing them?

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

holoman
not rated yet Jan 06, 2008


Space shuttle to Mars ?

Several companies working on keeping shuttle program alive along with the thousands of jobs.

http://www.spacei...ome.html

http://nlspropulsion.net

zbarlici
not rated yet Jan 07, 2008
allright holoman, even though slightly off-topic, i will jump on the "space shuttle to mars" bandwagon.

Around May 2008, the public will have peer reviewed results on the IEC fusion technology which will eventually(within 10 yrs) be used as rocket engines...

The company`s website
http://www.emc2fusion.org

Here`s a bit on the QED plasma engine utilising the IEC reactor
http://www.ibibli...ems.HTML

More links referring to this technology
http://www.talk-p...hp?t=112

Anyways i can barely wait for the results!!!
holoman
not rated yet Jan 07, 2008
The technology I mentioned works solely with the space shuttle so its not off topic.

Bussard's QED is really way out there and has no
working relation to the space shuttle.

Its interesting that Bussards IEC fusion engine
has been around >40 years and the scientific and/or space community has not embraced it enough to make a protoype. Even the inventor Dr. Bussard never saw his dream materialize.

vlam67
not rated yet Jan 07, 2008
...
Bussard's QED is really way out there and has no
working relation to the space shuttle.
Its interesting that Bussards IEC fusion engine
has been around >40 years and the scientific "and/or space community has not embraced it enough to make a protoype. Even the inventor Dr. Bussard never saw his dream materialize....

It's a no-brainer if you ask me...The ignorant and gullible public has been brain-washed so effectively that any technology that has the world "nuclear energy" or anything that is remotely connected with the word "nuclear" such as fusion is as loved as a dead rat in the soup! And they will move heaven and earth to kill it. I wonder what wil they say if anti-matter is abundant? Probably:"Not natural and not by God's will". Hopeless.
And, by the way, they scream and protest, while inhaling much more radioactive products from coal and oil-fired power stations exhausts than nuclear power stations emit while doing the protesting!
Oil lobbyists, I salute you!
God bless Homo Stupidus (I don't think He will bother!)
zbarlici
not rated yet Jan 07, 2008
The technology I mentioned works solely with the space shuttle so its not off topic.

Bussard's QED is really way out there and has no
working relation to the space shuttle.

Its interesting that Bussards IEC fusion engine
has been around >40 years and the scientific and/or space community has not embraced it enough to make a protoype. Even the inventor Dr. Bussard never saw his dream materialize.



The fusion age has arrived.

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.