Rules may be bent to launch Discovery

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Monday, July 25, 2005

With the problem with the fuel gauge still unexplained NASA has announced that in may bend some of its long-standing safety rules to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery on time. NASA managers have decided to launch with just three of the four fuel gauges working if the problem reappears Tuesday, however this would mean disregarding the rule created in 1986 after the Challenger explosion. In a press conference on July 13, NASA officials commented that they have never in the past flown a shuttle with less than four sensors working.

"There's very little in life that is 100 percent guaranteed, and there's probably less in rocket science that's 100 percent guaranteed," deputy shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said over the weekend. "That is part of the risk we take."

Discovery and the crew of 7 are set to blast-off for the International Space Station at 10:39 a.m. Tuesday morning. This will be the first launch since the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster two and a half years ago.


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