The fuel tank issue is one of the few causes of a major aviation accident in recent decades that has not been fully addressed by mandatory improvements, according to the NTSB. The Air Transport Association says the industry has cut the risk to a safe level by implementing numerous safeguards. It says an exhaustive analysis demonstrates that further measures are unnecessary.
Costs from a federal ethics probe and delays in foreign surveillance aircraft contracts will wipe out Boeing's second-quarter profit, the company said. The investigation involved Boeing's improper acquisition of secret documents belonging to competitor Lockheed Martin. The delays for the aircraft program stem from computer integration problems.
Officials gave Discovery approval to launch on Saturday at 3:49 p.m, but poor weather may interfere with the launch. Forecasts show a 60% chance of clouds that could trigger bolts of lightning. All 21 members of the Mission Management Team endorsed the launch approval.
The Department of Homeland Security has selected 25 companies to compete for information technology work worth up to $45 billion. Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, BearingPoint, and CACI International were among the winners.
NASA's ability to manage competing demands will determine the future of its human spaceflight program, experts say. NASA must complete the International Space Station, safely fly and retire the space shuttle and develop new spacecraft. Some insiders worry that budget constraints will affect NASA's ability to achieve is goals.