NASA officials push launch date of STS-122 out to January 10th now, squeezing timeline for mid February launch of STS-123
Program Manager’s for NASA yesterday announced that the previously rescheduled launch for January 2nd of STS-122 has now been pushed out to January 10th to allow shuttle program employees to have time to celebrate the holidays with their families.
“The workforce has stepped up to and met every challenge this year,” said Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “Moving the next launch attempt of Atlantis to Jan. 10 will allow as many people as possible to have time with family and friends at the time of year when it means the most. A lot has been asked of them this year and a lot will be asked of them in 2008.”
STS-122 was originally scheduled to be the last shuttle mission for 2007, launching December 6th, 2007. But that date was scrubbed when NASA engineers experienced an ECO sensor failure. The mission was rescheduled a couple more times before it was pushed out into January.
The question now is will the now scheduled January 10th launch, assuming it is even on time, impact the scheduled launch of another shuttle mission, STS-123, presently planned to launch on February 14th, just a few short weeks later than STS-122?
This morning Today in Space History asked Bob Jacobs, deputy assistant administrator of Public Affairs for NASA, about the possibility of a mid-January launch of STS-122 impacting the planned mid-February launch of STS-123:
“It’s a possibility and it all rests on coming to resolution on the ECO system issue. However, there are contingency days built into the schedule that give us time to adjust launch schedules. It will be tight but it is possible.”
STS-122 Mission Specialists Léopold Eyharts and Stanley Love are strapped into their seats on Atlantis’ middeck during a simulated launch countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett