NASA Delays Shuttle Flight to February, Cracks Culprit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Space shuttle Discovery

The Associated Press
The Space Shuttle Discovery, seen at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., is scheduled to launch Monday on a mission to the International Space Station.

Cape Canaveral, FL (AP) - Space shuttle Discovery's final
mission is off until February.

NASA managers announced the latest delay for Discovery on
Friday. They say they need more time to analyze cracks in the
shuttle's fuel tank. The damage cropped up following a failed
launch attempt in early November.

Discovery remains on the launch pad, holding a load of equipment
for the International Space Station. Officials want to conduct a
fueling test to better understand the problem.

Officials say they will tentatively aim for a liftoff on Feb. 3.
That will result in a postponement for shuttle Endeavour, which had
been scheduled to soar at the end of February.

NASA is retiring its shuttle fleet next year under the direction
of the White House.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Jonathan Swift Location: Florida on Dec 3, 2010 at 03:32 PM
    Unless they truly discover what factors caused Discovery's external tank problem, that particular tank should not fly. The remaining tanks on hand, few as they are, should be examined for the same problems. Hopefully, this delay is evidence that engineers are being adequately heeded, as the two prior shuttle accidents were directly attributed to incompetent/negligent management overruling the concerns of front-line engineers.
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