Bill Nelson, Rocket Scientist

Senator: NASA May Have To Consider Having Only 2 Launches

"NASA is getting a stern reality check from one of its biggest supporters. Senator Bill Nelson admitted Monday there may only be two more shuttle missions instead of three. WFTV learned NASA will announce another delay for Discovery on Tuesday and, Nelson says, if engineers can't fix Discovery's external tank they must cancel the Atlantis mission and use that tank, because they aren't making tanks anymore. The plant that makes the tanks in Louisiana has already been shut down, so NASA is really faced with two options: fly with a tank that has had more repair work done than any other tank or scrap an entire shuttle mission."

Comment by Wayne Hale (actual rocket scientist) on an earlier post

"Let me review the situation: until root cause is understood, all the remaining tanks are suspect; going to the next tank in line would likely have the same condition. Understanding the cause and fixing all the remaining tanks is required. Second, this is hardly a hurry up launch fever situation. The shuttle team is methodically working through the problem. They have delayed the launch from early November repeatedly because the solution is not in hand. They are exercising very good judgment and not rushing. Working through difficult engineering problems can be painful to watch, but my observation is that they are doing what is prudent and proper."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 10, 2011 5:06 PM.

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