Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No delay in future Shuttle launches

From Florida Today here:
NASA is leaning toward launching shuttle Discovery on Oct. 23 without external tank changes despite heat-shield damage done to Endeavour during its blastoff earlier this month.

The agency also aims to launch Atlantis and a European science laboratory to the International Space Station on Dec. 6.

But NASA on Tuesday acknowledged it will be hard to launch 13 station assembly flights and a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission before a presidential deadline to retire the shuttle fleet in September 2010.

"I think we get into trouble if we start holding up some kind of standard that we have to complete all remaining 14 flights and it's a failure if we don't get all 14," NASA space operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier said after Endeavour's landing at Kennedy Space Center.

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