From 1984 to 1994 I worked for the worlds largest computer company as a contractor at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The best way to become disillusioned with the American space program as it stands now is to work in it. NASA of today is a far, far cry from the can-do engineering team that put men on the moon 35 years ago. Our only hope for a real space program is for private enterprise to move forward.
My prayers are with the astronauts who will be launched in an approximately 20-year old vehicle that has been called the most complex machine ever built.
I'm a little out of date on the status of the International Space Station but the last I heard the oxygen generation systems were barely limping along on backups. If the Discovery crew has to move in with the station crew I hope they have their own O2 along.
HoustonChronicle.com - NASA to use unprecedented methods to monitor shuttle:
The shuttle Discovery will undergo unprecedented scrutiny from cameras and other sensors as it climbs into orbit and maneuvers toward the international space station on the first such mission since the Columbia disaster.
But efforts to determine whether the spacecraft has suffered the type of external damage that caused Columbia's breakup more than two years ago could easily stretch to the midpoint of Discovery's 12-day flight, said Wayne Hale, who chairs NASA's mission management team.