NASA Moves Up Fall Launch Date Targets
Space shuttle Discovery is purged - providing cool and humidified air conditioning to the payload bay and other cavities to remove any residual explosive or toxic fumes – while still on the runway.
CREDIT: NASA/Kim Shiflett
NASA is moving up target launch dates for its next two shuttle missions by three days each in a bid to get both off the ground before a window of opportunity closes in late November.
- The launch of Atlantis on a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission now is targeted for Oct. 5.
- Endeavour is scheduled to launch Nov. 7 on an International Space Station outfitting mission.
Senior managers are expected to firm up the dates Aug. 14.
NASA faces a Nov. 24 deadline to launch 2008 station missions.
The station would not be able to generate enough power, or dispel enough heat, due to the sun angle on its solar wings between Nov. 25 and Dec. 17. NASA also aims not to launch during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
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