STS-122 shuttle mission scheduled for January 2nd, the 11th in shuttle mission history for January
There have been ten January shuttle mission launched since the beginning of the program in 1981. STS-122, now scheduled for an early January launch (possibly Jan 2nd) , will be the 121st shuttle launch of the program.
Image above: STS-122 crew members, attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, pose for a crew photo prior to a training session in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at Johnson Space Center. From the left are European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts; astronauts Stanley G. Love, all mission specialists; Stephen N. Frick, commander; Alan G. Poindexter, pilot; Leland D. Melvin and Rex J. Walheim, both mission specialists.
Image credit: NASA
There has not been a January shuttle launch since 2003. If STS-122 launches January 2nd it will be the earliest shuttle launch for a January shuttle mission. NASA plans to launch STS-123 six weeks later on February 14th.
The other 2008 shuttle launches are presently scheduled for April 24th (STS-124), August 7th (STS-125), and September 18 (STS-126). Because of the re-scheduled January STS-122 launch (from December 2007), there are a total of five shuttle launches planned now for 2008.
The last time NASA launched five shuttle missions in one year was 2002.
Previous shuttle launches for the month of January
1985 January 24 – STS-51-C1
1990 January 9 – STS-32
1992 January 22 – STS-42
1993 January 13 – STS-54
1996 January 11 – STS-72
1997 January 12 – STS-81
1998 January 22 – STS-89
2003 January 16 – STS-107