NASA sets May date for first post-Columbia shuttle launch
NASA NEWS RELEASE
Posted: October 29, 2004
After an extensive review, NASA is planning its Return to Flight space shuttle mission, designated STS-114, for a launch window that opens in May 2005.
NASA's Space Flight Leadership Council met today to consider a recommendation from the Space Shuttle Program to revise the Return to Flight target launch window to May 2005. The council endorsed the recommendation the May window, which opens from May 12 to June 3, 2005, is achievable.
The agency was working toward a launch planning window that opens in March 2005, before a series of hurricanes impacted operations at multiple NASA facilities. NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala., Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, La., all experienced shutdowns in preparation for one or more of the four hurricanes in August and September, resulting in delays on Return to Flight work.
"After four hurricanes in a row impacted our centers and our workers, it became clear, we needed to step back and evaluate the work in respect to the launch planning date," said William Readdy, Space Flight Leadership Council co-chair and associate administrator for Space Operations. "We asked the program to go back and evaluate May, and they reported the milestones are lining up. The May launch planning window is based on solid analysis and input from across all elements of the program," he said.
NASA's Space Flight Leadership Council is co-chaired by Readdy and Walt Cantrell, deputy chief engineer for the agency's Independent Technical Authority. The council includes the directors for NASA's four Space Operations centers, Chief Officer for Safety and Mission Assurance Bryan O'Connor, and Deputy Associate Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs Michael Kostelnik.