STS-121 gains “Fourth of July” launch date

The Fourth of July in the United States, is always a time for picnics, parades and fireworks. Now we can add shuttle launches to that mix. Sunday’s scheduled launch of STS-121 was scrubbed for the second time in as many days.

The next launch attempt for Discovery’s STS-121 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for Tuesday at 2:38 p.m. EDT.

Even the layman that I am, I understand the need for these delays, but is there anyone that still thinks they can get 17 launches off in the next four years? Added to that, we have the news media gleefully announcing each “scrub” costs over a million dollars extra.

With “happy”, “good news” coverage like this, NASA probably looks back longingly to the days when shuttle launches received less news air time than the local “Petunia Festival.”

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UPDATE:
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Space.com, posts a troublesome article detailing the news of insulation problems with Discovery. During a post-scrub inspection, “NASA inspectors have found a small crack in the foam insulation of the space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank, prompting mission managers to discuss whether to press ahead with Tuesday’s third launch attempt or stand down for repairs.”

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