NASA extends shuttle mission schedule into 2011

Final two space shuttle flights are now scheduled for takeoff in November and February

As expected, NASA has pushed back the dates of its last two space shuttle flights, which will delay the fleet's retirement date until early next year.

The final two shuttle launches had been scheduled for September and November. The space shuttle Discovery is now slated to make its last liftoff on Nov. 1 while Endeavour is set to launch on its final voyage on Feb. 26, according to NASA.

"The target dates were adjusted because critical payload hardware for the [original September] mission will not be ready in time for the previously targeted date," NASA said in a statement. "With Discovery's move, Endeavour had to plan for its next available window, which was February."

The slip in the last launch dates aren't surprising.

In March, NASA's Office of the Inspector General released a report noting that it will probably take NASA until the first or second quarter of 2011 to complete the last of the remaining shuttle flights.

The report also noted that extending the program beyond its original goal of a September retirement would cost about $200 million a month.

A month after that report was released, NASA announced that it was pushing the launch date of its last shuttle mission back from September to November.

This week, that schedule was pushed back for a second time.

The space shuttle Atlantis , which made its first space voyage in 1985, made its final flight in May. With its last mission to the International Space Station under its belt, Atlantis logged in nearly 120 million miles in its career.

The last two space shuttle flights will focus on ferrying spare parts and equipment to the space station. Once NASA's shuttle fleet is retired , it will be difficult, if not impossible, to move massive pieces of equipment up to the station.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmenthardware systemsNASAEmerging TechnologiesGovernment use of ITGovernment/IndustriesIT in Government

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?