NASA talks about a possibility of another Shuttle launch in 2005
NASA chief Michael Griffin has expressed confidence in the aging Space Shuttle fleet and has expressed faith that NASA should be able to carry out one more mission sometime this year alone. Discovery went successfully to space this week though now there are certain doubts about its safety while returning back to earth. NASA is working on the images of the Shuttle to assess the damage to the outer shell before deciding on a date to bring it back to earth.
Griffin said: “I think we’re going to fix it in short order and we’re going to get back flying. We don’t expect this to be a long drawn-out affair, to be honest with you.” he also took responsibility for the damage the debris seems to have caused to the outer shell of the shuttle during the launch. Griffin has promised that the agency would look into it urgently and will find out a solution fast.
He also praised his team for doing a magnificent job with Discovery and Mike claims that this mission has been one of their best ever with Shuttle suffering quite minor damages compared to the earlier missions. He credits this fact to the past 2 1/2 years NASA has spent on improving the safety of the mission.
Astronaut on board the Discovery Andy Thomas also spoke about the problems faced by the Shuttle. He called the foam problem a “huge engineering disappointment.” the inspection by the NASA has found 25 dings on Discovery’s tile-covered belly, which is quite an improvement over the earlier missions.