NASA won't launch Discovery until at least February 3
December 3rd, 2010
12:15 PM ET

NASA won't launch Discovery until at least February 3

NASA says the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery has now tentatively been moved to no earlier than February 3rd.

The launch, originally scheduled to blast off on November 5, has been plagued with technical problems delaying the mission.

Discovery's departure has been delayed several times because of bad weather, gas leaks, electrical glitches and cracks found on the shuttle's external fuel tank.

The voyage is expected to be the last for Discovery as NASA prepares to retire the shuttle fleet.


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Filed under: Shuttle • Space
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Kenny

    I'm cool with us not flying these shuttles anymore... It's not like we ever really made it to the moon anyway

    December 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |

    Bush was the president to give the order to shut down the shuttle program. People are so quick to criticize Obama that they forget to do research.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      it's because Obama sucks. He's such a screw up... people voted for him just because of his skin color, not because he was the right person for the job.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • hi

      Ok, people can have opinions about him, but they need to get their facts right first. Otherwise, their opinions don't have any merit.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howie

      True, but Obama was the one to cancel our Manned Spaceflight program. I think he's a great president, but this was his worst mistake.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • hi

      No...Bush was. Bush's order carried over into Obama's term.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cerulamania

    I had that problem, Cialis fixed it

    December 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |


    December 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      His wind power initiatives.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • redisgreat

      Anon: LOL thanks for the chuckle.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      I also blame the wind power initiatives

      December 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Howie

    What a bunch of shortsighted morons commenting on this post! You want to save money? How about canceling the TRILLIONS we spend on pointless wars? If we took the money wasted in Iraq and divvied it up, every man woman and child in the US could have 100% free health care and a college education. NASA was a symbol of American Exceptionalism. Proof that we were the most technologically advanced civilization every to grace this planet, and proof that we could surmount any problem if we put our minds to it. Problems solved by NASA became household items in America that continued to set our standard of living above that of the rest of the world. Velcro, Cell Phones, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, many many more. Manned space flight IS good science – the challenges involved in keeping people alive in that environment teach us things that we didn't even know we didn't know. Beyond that it is a symbol. How many children became scientists, engineers, pilots because they saw men walk on the moon? How many of those same children would have drifted aimlessly through life not contributing if they had not been inspired by that sight? NASA is one of the only forward looking agencies in the US government. The fact is, this world will one day be unable to sustain life. If we haven't found a way to survive elsewhere by then, we as a species will end. That is simply unacceptable. We should build 3 new shuttles, based on the original design, but with updated technology, and use them as an interim vehicle until the next paradigm is realized. I think Obama's biggest blunder to date is his decision to gut the space program.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • redisgreat

      Dude, hold on. Private industry has left NASA in the dust for the past 25 years. Get a grip and move on. We do not need a government run space vehicle launch system anymore. Private enterprise will solve the problems before the government can/will. And industry will pay better and hire more people than the government can/will. End NASA now!

      December 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Any loss of human space exploration

      Ending NASA would never be a good idea if for no other reason than the pure science and think tanks. And I do believe that NASA is an inspiration to a lot of kids. I know it was to me back in the 60s. And there are no other vehicles with the capabilities of the shuttle so maybe building two with new technology is not such a bad idea. We have learned a lot since we built the first ones.

      December 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rupert

    Why do people think only the gov't can get to space? Who did the Wright brothers work for? Who did edison work for? Who did John Browing or Samuel Colt work for? Great inventions are not created by our gov't. Great achievements are rarely born of our gov't.

    At least Obama is not standing in front of us blathering about manned missions to Mars.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • redisgreat

      Burt Rutan and Richard Branson. Two names that have helped bring to light the fact that private industry and entrepeneurs will get us into space quicker and more cost effectively than the government will.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boater

      The problem is that in today's world, it's about PROFIT. And, if one can go overseas to save money, they will. The next space shuttle replacement will have China's flag on it if we're not careful.... America needs to get back to it's core abilities–BUILDING STUFF, INVENTING TECHNOLOGY, and THE SPACE PROGRAM. Otherwise, your children have to look forward to growing up to be janitors, bartenders, and waitresses.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Squidly

    People, there's gold on the moon! Helium3 can create fusion reations to provide all the power we need! There is a mass abundance of it on the moon! Anti-matter protons can be made much cheaper in the vacuum of space, that will solve our problem of accelerated space flight. Think of all the gold and platinum on Mars?

    December 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • redisgreat

      Yeah, so what? None of it will be used by humans in the next 50 years so why care about it now? Let things evolve and they will come to us. There is no rush. The the history of human's on this planet, how long did it take us to even get into space from our first appearance (either from Adam and Eve or the evolution way is irrelevant). There is plenty of time to do this right and do it slowly and make sure no one gets killed. Rushing into things is what got us into t a lot of trouble recently (Iraq and Afghanistan).

      December 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Roger

    Is it sheering a sheep or shearing a sheep?

    December 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • redisgreat


      December 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 2112Starman

    18 billion a year to NASA, 850 billion a year to "the department of homeland security" and 2 trillion into Iraq in the past 10 years (So dont say its going to "protect" us). Our priorities just arnt right.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • redisgreat

      Yes and that $18 billion wasted by NASA could have been used to help senior citizens and disabled people that cannot work anymore. Government MUST be reduced. Since we spent the $18 billion on seniors AND NASA I say get rid of NASA. I kind of like my old aunt.

      December 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Any loss of human space exploration

      Well, I am an old guy and I say NASA needs more money. It would improve my quality of life as they have in the past.

      December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Any loss of human space exploration

    Any loss of human space exploration whether it is close to the planet or in the next star system is a loss for humanity. And what we really need is a propulsion center that is not a chemically fueled rocket. I see where at the University of Florida. They overcame gravity with a strong magnetic field. They were floating flowers and frogs in the field.

    All of you that want to save the planet; well your best bet is getting humanity in space and off the planet.

    As for there being nothing left to explore close by as somebody commented. I still do not see Helium 3 being transported here from the Moon; a plentiful energy source that could easily supply us for the next two centuries; and no; oil would not become obsolete.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Phil

    So Sad
    We used to be a nation of "Can Do" and not afraid of risk or even failure.
    We used to be the explorers, the inventors and the innovators.
    "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Isn't that what Kennedy said?

    Yet as I read these posts I see a lot of fear, a lot of "we can't" and "we never should"

    Is the American spirit really that dead – I hope not.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Informed_Scientist

    My cousin worked on the Apollo rocket motors, my great uncle died in an acccident at NASA. Here is my two cents: The shuttle program was a great idea that was implemented to the best of anyone's abilities given the beaurocracy, red tape, and budget constraints WE as taxpayers put on the program. The fleet is getting older and no one here can say it is not showing it's age. It's the best system we had at the time to continue manned space flight, unfortunately, most folks don't comprehend the advances we made in technology and science becasue of it, all they see is a vapor trial and dollar signs. Well here is my take for what it's worth: retiring the shuttle is a prudent decision, we need to find an alternative, however right now is just not a good time. The answer is simple and has a ring of comprimise: You continue unmanned proble flights for discovery and exploration, use the Russians 40+ year old technology to support the ISS for now (or until such a time as the station because of a lack of funding or just ill repair fails) , and work on making a long-lasting solution for the manned missions of the future instead of knee jerking something out fast (dare we forget Apollo 1 so soon).

    December 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AmericanGirl

    How about we scrap the entire space program until we get our act together. We can't afford it. If I go to a car dealership to buy a car and I have no money (or am in trillions of dollars of debt) , do you really think that I am going to drive away with a new car? Of course not. This country is going to have to face the realization that WE ARE BROKE. We do not have the money for everything that we want. This is as good a place as any for funding cuts. I am afraid that we in the US are going to get to the place where anything that doesn't boost the defense of our country, cannot be eaten, cannot be used to make heat or light, etc is going to be something that we can't afford.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Harvey

    Discovery was originaly scheduled to launch on 11/1, not 11/5.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. justuandme

    lol I don't blame them for holding out but i think they are just trying to hold out until after the holidays. If the shuttle goes up there will be a few people out of a job immediately afterwards... it would be a sad xmas for some to be out of a job.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
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