NASA has just announced it will postpone the 39th and final launch of space shuttle Discovery until November 30 at the earliest, after a hydrogen gas leak stalled this afternoon's scheduled liftoff.
Meanwhile, Robonaut, who was supposed to start his career as the first humanoid robot in space this week, remains shut in his custom SLEEPR crate while the shuttle sorts out its problems.
Technicians assessing the leak found in an external fuel tank this morning also discovered a foam crack on the tank's liquid oxygen intertank flange, prompting NASA to delay the launch so they can fix the damage and assess possible causes.
Since November 8 marks the end of this window of acceptable solar angles amenable to Discovery's launch, NASA must wait until the next launch window, from November 30 through December 5, to begin the 11-day mission.
This is amazing - now there isn't a single reason to send a human into space to work on the space station. How much do we save by just sending robots into space? I'm thinking of savings in life support systems and what not. Are they cheaper to send?
What's really awesome is that it's "2010"
The "Discovery" is the space ship's name. (not to mention it's last flight!)
It has a robot on board. (unfortunately it is not an AI )
Let's be glad there's not a monolith involve!
The interesting part of this story is: how much is it going to actually cost to repair the shuttle in order to scrap the shuttle? They might as well use a new shuttle.
I'm glad they scrubbed the flight and are going to work on all the trouble they been having. I'd hate to see them explode on lift-off or re-entry again.
Uhm ... As I sit and muse over that disturbing photo, so many sad thoughts are swirling about, in my head.
I mean, Ya KNOW this poor robot will eventually be coverered with graffiti and wearing ladies underpants, right ??? ... Ya KNOW that, don't ya ?
And, ya know the humans will use this hapless bot as a shaving mirror, right ?
So, I'm thinking ... If you were to sit Robonaut on a sofa at a frat house, he would probably fare better ...
When I visited NASA a couple of months ago they were talking about the robonaut 2. It would be interesting to see it in action and interacting with the astronauts inside the ISS.
Am I the only one who sees that this mission is pointless? All they are doing is going to space or the space station and then returning home. It takes them millions of dollars to build the spacecraft and thousands more to repair it. In all that time it took to do so they could have spent their time doing more moon missions and building a moon base, gone to mars and back again. We are talking about 39 missions goind to space and back again. I think nasa needs to replan how they are exploring space.
You know the economy is bad when NASA is outsourcing to robots for labor. At lease that robot was made in America.
This has to be cruel and unusual punishment, since the robonaut has to stay in a crate until the launch at the end of the month. :)
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! This crate is not up to code!
Sad Robot: me want Space now. NASA: one more month then you get to go to outer space. Sad Robot: 01 more month no hombre that too long. :)
@aerosphere it is much more then just going up and coming back down. From resupplying the ISS to scientific experiments and testing. Gaining valuable data on low gravity operations. Gaining data on how to keep astronauts sane and healthy during space missions. There is a lot of good science and research going on on these missions it is not just fly up say "Hi guys anyone want a ride back" then fly back.