Space shuttle Discovery will not now launch on its STS-133 mission to the International Space Station until tomorrow (Friday) at the earliest. Discovery on Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center The venerable vehicle's swansong has has been postponed due to the weather at Kennedy Space Center, NASA explains. If the agency …
The Playmonaut would've got em airborne (spaceborne?)
Better safe than sorry: Too many lives have been lost already
At take off the shuttle is extremely vulnerable and the chances of minimising insulating foam damage is dependent on ideal weather conditions and so critical in preventing loss of insulating tiles essential for a safe return.
The whole assembly is a flying bomb and either lightning or severe winds could bring it down.
I still have vivid memories of teacher Christa McAuliffe who died in the Challenger disaster on 1986 January 28. See: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster >.
Do you work for NASA?
That's a /very/ NASA attitude towards shuttle. Let me hit you with one from a different perspective: If we'd just taken our lumps and not tried to "safety engineer" the piss out of everything and anything going into space we'd be on Mars by now. Every major human endeavour costs lives. They know the risks when they get into it, and there are plenty of people who would be signing up to volunteer even if the odds of surviving were less than one in four.
The culture of fear and “everything must go absolutely perfect” have held NASA back far more than the operational record of Shuttle.
That said: Fair winds Discovery. Come home safe this one last time.
So, the end of an era indeed? Not for a few hours at least. Then we can say a final prayer as the space-vw-camper blasts off one last time until it is safely in orbit. Then that really will be the end of manned American space flight.
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