According to CBSNews.com, the long-delayed flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, now slated for Feb. 24, faces yet another issue after astronaut Timothy Kopra was injured Jan. 15 in a bicycling accident. Kopra is a mission flight engineer for Discovery’s launch and re-entry and also is the lead spacewalker for two planned jaunts outside the international space station during the upcoming mission.
“NASA does not train backup crews and a replacement, even a recently flown veteran, would need time to rehearse spacewalk scenarios and receive mission-specific training for Discovery’s flight. How long that might take, if required, and what impact it might have on the shuttle’s launch date is not yet known.”
Discovery was slated to launch on its final mission Nov. 1, but the flight has been delayed repeatedly due primarily due to technical concerns related to its external fuel tank.