Beleaguered mapping mission postponed again

Computer malfunctions and inclement weather Tuesday delayed the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission that was to take pictures of the Earth's surface.

NASA postponed the mission by more than a week to replace Space Shuttle Endeavour's master events controller. The controller signals the firing of the rocket boosters at takeoff and separation. The mission is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 9.

This is the third time the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) has been postponed. Endeavour, outfitted with radar technology to map 80 percent of the Earth's surface for the National Imaging and Mapping Agency (see Jan. 24 FCW), was originally scheduled for launch in September. Problems with Space Shuttle Discovery's wiring led to the rewiring of all space shuttle vehicles.

Endeavour was rescheduled for Monday, but rain showers and the controller malfunction during the 10-minute countdown postponed the launch till Tuesday afternoon. Because it was unclear why the microwave-size unit sent erroneous information to the engine units, NASA officials decided during a 4 a.m. Tuesday meeting to postpone the launch, a NASA spokesman said.

Up to date SRTM information is available at


  • IT Modernization
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    OMB provides key guidance for TMF proposals amid surge in submissions

    Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat details what makes for a winning Technology Modernization Fund proposal as agencies continue to submit major IT projects for potential funding.

  • gears and money (zaozaa19/

    Worries from a Democrat about the Biden administration and federal procurement

    Steve Kelman is concerned that the push for more spending with small disadvantaged businesses will detract from the goal of getting the best deal for agencies and taxpayers.

Stay Connected