NASA Leader Says Space Shuttle Ready For Mid-May Launch - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/17/05

NASA Leader Says Space Shuttle Ready For Mid-May Launch

All systems are go for a mid-May launch of NASA's first space shuttle in more than two years. That word came from the man in-charge of NASA's Return to Flight program.

Bill Parsons visited the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County Thursday.

It's been more than two years since one of NASA's space shuttles has left the ground. NASA halted all flights after the Columbia disaster in February 2003.

Leaders now say the Space Shuttle Discovery is ready for lift off.

"For right now, we're well on track to make that May 15th window. It may be a day or two after May 15th, but currently I have enough contingency dates and I have a schedule that shows me launching on May 15th," Parsons said.

Parsons and other NASA leaders say they're confident that Discovery will be launched in that time frame, and launched safely.

"Just because of all the work we've done and all the analysis we've done for return to flight. Each one of these people have taken a personal responsibility to make sure their system, their project, their element is prepared and is safe."

Workers at Stennis Space Center test all space shuttle main engines.

"Stennis has done its job post-Columbia very, very much like pre-Columbia, testing the engines," Stennis Space Center Director Tom Donaldson said.

In addition, some scientists and engineers played key roles in the return to flight program. They tested the safety levels of ice and frost build up on the shuttle.

NASA determined ice build-up was part of the chain of events that caused Columbia to crash.

Donaldson told WLOX News, "When we say Discovery will be the safest launch ever it's because the whole organization has reassessed because of what happened, and redoubled their efforts to make sure it never happens again."

If the name Bill Parsons sounds familiar to you, it should. The Mississippi native served as Director of Stennis Space Center for about a year before being called to head up NASA's return to flight program.

by Al Showers

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Parents make heartbreaking decision over son with autism

    Parents make heartbreaking decision over son with autism

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:10 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:10:16 GMT
    KMOV has chosen not to identify him by name or show pictures of what he currently looks like. (Credit: Wallens)KMOV has chosen not to identify him by name or show pictures of what he currently looks like. (Credit: Wallens)

    A parent's love knows no bounds. But what happens when you truly believe your child is going to harm himself or someone else? One family tells News 4 they made a heartbreaking decision about their son with autism, all because they felt they had no other options. 

    More >>

    A parent's love knows no bounds. But what happens when you truly believe your child is going to harm himself or someone else? One family tells News 4 they made a heartbreaking decision about their son with autism, all because they felt they had no other options. 

    More >>
  • Playmate tastes shame, ordered to clean up urban grit

    Playmate tastes shame, ordered to clean up urban grit

    Thursday, May 25 2017 12:45 AM EDT2017-05-25 04:45:59 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 12:45 AM EDT2017-05-25 04:45:59 GMT

    A Playboy centerfold who snapped a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a gym locker room and posted it on social media with insults about the woman's body is expected to appear in court to resolve a criminal...

    More >>

    A Playboy centerfold who snapped a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a gym locker room and posted it on social media with insults about the woman's body is expected to appear in court to resolve a criminal charge in Los Angeles.

    More >>
  • Breaking

    Kirbyville High School principal resigns, then shoots, kills self in parking lot

    Kirbyville High School principal resigns, then shoots, kills self in parking lot

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:31 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:31:33 GMT

    Following his resignation Tuesday afternoon, the principal of Kirbyville High School walked out his truck, where he apparently shot and killed himself, according to police.

    More >>

    Following his resignation Tuesday afternoon, the principal of Kirbyville High School walked out his truck, where he apparently shot and killed himself, according to police.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly