Shuttle Year-End Glitch?
I was just reading an article about NASA's concerns with a year-end software glitch. Apparently the shuttle computers are not designed to make a change from December 31st to January 1st. We are long past the year 2000 problem, so I am wondering why something like this still exists. I know the original computers in the Shuttle were based on 1970's technology with extremely low amounts of memory, but were recently upgraded. I have to believe this is one of those situations where the software team decided not to make changes under the rule of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
The real scary thing about this is the astronauts are not sure what would happen. I know the code that runs the shuttle fleet is probably the most tested and most reviewed code that exists on the planet. You would think the software team would know the ramifications or could easily set up a test to simulate the scenario. Heck, we all did this with Y2K testing.
The good news is NASA is flying again in December with the space shuttle Discovery. It was moved out to the launch pad earlier this month, and should be launched between December 7th and 17th with a 12 day mission to install the P5 Truss and the Spacehab module at the International Space Station. It will also be the first night launch since the Columbia accident. Night launches are always spectacular to watch.
Labels: Space Program