Fonte New York Times :
Vogliono lanciare lo shuttle il 7 Dicembre per paura del cambiamento della data dei computer di bordo,se dovesse partire qualche settimana dopo…e cosi arrivare al capodanno…
Di seguito l’articolo del NYT
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Nov. 9 (AP) — The space shuttle Discovery was moved to the launching pad on Thursday to await a liftoff that could be as early as Dec. 7, an effort to avoid potential New Year’s Eve computer glitches.
The worry is that shuttle computers are not designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new one while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.
“We’ve just never had the computers up and going when we’ve transitioned from one year to another,” said Joan E. Higginbotham, a Discovery astronaut. “We’re not really sure how they’re going to operate.”
Launching opportunities would be available from Dec. 7 to as late as Dec. 17 or 18, for a 12-day mission.
But NASA was quick to say that procedures could be devised to make a transition if necessary.
“If we have an ‘Oh my God,’ and we have to be up there, I am sure we would figure out a way to operate the vehicle safely,” said Steve Oswald, a vice president for Boeing, the parent company of the builders and designers of the shuttles.