Feeds

NASA greenlights shuttle, gets on with ISS construction

Must be home for the new year, though

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.