We’ll miss you Discovery…eventually…but we want you to go out in a metephorical blaze of glory, not a physical one. We can wait.
The last launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery was going to take place two weeks ago to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. Among the packages in the cargo hold is a robot, R2, a joint venture between NASA and General Motors, which will become a permanent resident onboard the station.
However, they found cracks in the shuttle’s main fuel tank, bad cracks. They think they can fix them on the pad, but some other folks say that NASA needs to roll it back into the Vehicle Assembly Building, remove the orbiter, and do it right. How bad would it be if we lose another crew and orbiter because we rushed to launch to meet some anniversary or whatever. Discovery has served us well and deserves to end up in a museum, not blown into tiny pieces. The crew needs to come back national heroes, not become martyres to political expediency and their families need them back alive.
Safety first, people.
- Fourth Crack Discovered On Space Shuttle Discovery’s Fuel Tank (space.com)
- Cracks found in space shuttle Discovery’s tank (telegraph.co.uk)
- Two Cracks Found on Shuttle Discovery’s External Fuel Tank (space.com)
- Shuttle Discovery In Repair Shop (informationweek.com)
- NASA Engineers Examine Space Shuttle Discovery Ahead of Repairs (space.com)
- NASA finds 4th crack in Discovery’s external fuel tank (chron.com)
- Cracks Found In Discovery Fuel Tank, Further Delaying Shuttle’s Launch (huffingtonpost.com)