Saturday 30 October 2004

Shuttle Flights To Resume in May

From The Australian :
THE US space agency has given a green light for the resumption of space shuttle flights in May 2005, more than two years after seven astronauts died in the mid-air disintegration of space shuttle Columbia.

NASA's Space Flight Leadership Council yesterday endorsed a recommendation from the agency's space shuttle program to launch a "Return to Flight" mission sometime between May 12 and June 3 next year, a NASA statement announced.

The agency's earlier plan to resume flight in March was scuttled by a string of hurricanes that impacted operations at NASA facilities in the southeastern US states.

"After four hurricanes in a row impacted our centres and our workers, it became clear we needed to step back and evaluate the work in respect to the launch planning date," William Readdy, co-chair of the NASA council, was quoted as saying in the statement.

"We asked the program to go back and evaluate May, and they reported the milestones are lining up. The May launch planning window is based on solid analysis and input from across all elements of the program," he said.

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