Feeds

NASA greenlights shuttle, gets on with ISS construction

Must be home for the new year, though

High performance access to file storage

NASA's next Shuttle mission is to blast off next Thursday, the space agency confirmed yesterday.

The mission, which will last for 12 days, will see the NASA astronauts undertake yet more of the much delayed construction work on the International Space Station. This time they will "install a new segment of the station's girder-like truss and activate the station's permanent, complex power and cooling systems", NASA says.

The launch has been given the go ahead despite concerns that any delays to either the launch or landing schedule could mean the Shuttle would be in orbit over the end of the year, leaving it vulnerable to a "millennium bug" style date-change software glitch.

The onboard computers are not set up to switch to a new "Day One" when the year ends, but the ground computers are. If it is still in orbit over the new year, the computer could be reset, but that would mean the Shuttle would be flying blind, without navigation updates or vehicle control. Not ideal.

At the end of the mission, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter will return to Earth aboard Discovery. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams will stay behind for a six month tour of duty on the space station. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.