If, like us, you were looking forward to witnessing five shuttle
launches in 2007... NASA says prepare to be disappointed.
Incoming Kennedy Space Center director Bill Parsons
said logistical issues -- involving the numerous steps needed
to ready each of the space agency's three orbiters after they
return from missions to the International Space Station
-- could spell trouble for NASA's ambitious goal to launch
shuttles in March, June, September, October and December.
"I know that we have three (flights) that we believe we can
really make right now," Parsons told the Associated Press. "The
other two are going to be a little tougher at the end of the year.
One of them may slip over into the next year, but that's really no
The last time NASA flew five shuttle missions in the same year
was 2002... when NASA had four orbiters in the
rotation. All scheduled flights for 2007 are aimed at
finishing construction on the ISS.
If there's a glimmer of hope, it's in the 'can-do' attitude
among NASA and its workers, flush from their successes in 2006.