CAPE CANAVERAL, NOV. 17 -- Manufacturing problems have delayed delivery of the first set of post-Challenger booster components, but officials said today that the space shuttle Discovery's June launch target is possible with around-the-clock operations.
John Thomas, manager of the booster rocket redesign project, said problems with the fabrication of Discovery's left booster nozzle have pushed its delivery from late December into January.
But Robert Sieck, launch director at Kennedy Space Center, said processing schedules indicate Discovery can make its June 2 launch date.
"What we've done to accommodate that is to set up our work force so that we can process our solid rocket booster activity around the clock, seven days a week," Sieck said at a news conference.
The presidential commission that investigated the January 1986 Challenger disaster criticized the space agency for extreme overtime, which was blamed for widespread fatigue among the work force. Since then, overtime guidelines have been revised. Sieck said workers receive a minimum of one day off every six and two days off every 12 with a 60-hour cap on work weeks.
"We're not going to put ourselves in a posture to let fatigue be a factor in our processing," he said. "We've got new overtime policies that apply to all the work force. We've had those in place for some months now. We've already been into a seven-day operation from an orbiter-processing standpoint for a couple of months."