NASA Delays Space Shuttle Launch, Again - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/29/05

NASA Delays Space Shuttle Launch, Again

NASA administrator Michael Griffin said he didn't want to do anything dumb, so he elected to delay the launch of the shuttle Discovery, until the last two weeks of July.

Among the problems facing the team of experts at Cape Canaveral, a possible build up of ice on the fuel tanks. The Discovery was scheduled for launch late next month. The shuttle is scheduled take supplies to the International Space Station, during its 12-day mission.

Michael Griffin said, "Schedule does matter. There are no human activities in which it's just OK to perform them whenever you like. Schedule matters. It shouldn't matter to the point of causing people to do dumb things or to take ill-advised actions. That is where we want to get to. But schedule is one factor in the equation and we want to launch Discovery when we can, because the completion of the International Space Station depends upon an expeditious lunch schedule. When all of the managers and all of the engineers had had their say, was that we had enough work remaining to do that trying to go in early May or June just wasn't the smartest thing."

Griffin went on to say, "We are recovering from a major accident here. A huge national tragedy. Putting people into space is still not so routine that we can do it blithely. Every mission where we decide to launch people into space, with the level of technology we possess today, is a big deal. We take it seriously. Other considerations, such as exactly in what sequence and at what dates that we are able to assemble the International Space Station, have to come behind making sure than when we launch people, we are taking it seriously."
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