Feeds

Space Shuttle slated for early morning roll call

Atlantis back on track

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

NASA has nearly completed repairs to the space shuttle Atlantis' tank, which took a battering in a hailstorm earlier this year. Space Program managers are so pleased with the progress that they have decided to roll the shuttle back out in preparation for its eventual launch. All being well, the craft will start its journey at 4am, local time.

A spacewalker works on a section of solar panelling

The foam covering of the fuel tank was hit by "thousands" of golf-ball sized hailstones, during a storm in late February, as it waited on its launch pad. Describing the need for repairs back in March, the agency said at least 1,600 "dings" would have to be filled, while the remainder could probably be sanded smooth.

Wayne Hale, Space Program manager, thanked all the people who helped on repairs. He said: "We're really proud of what they have done…in an unexpected circumstance amidst all the other work they have to do."

The mission, STS-117, will see yet more construction work take place on the International Space Station. As on earlier missions, the team of astronauts is charged with installing a new truss segment, unfurling new solar arrays and folding up an old one.

Kelly Beck, lead space station flight director for STS-117 said: “I jokingly call those flights the test flights for us.”

The agency was keen to get a launch this month, since the current launch window closes on May 21. However, the schedule is such that there is no longer any chance of making that deadline. The next earliest possible launch date is June 8, and NASA has scheduled a "flight readiness review" on May 30. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
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
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
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?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.