MSNBC (JimO) Scoops more Inside-NASA Shuttle Documents
From Jack O'Neil:
I'm sure that STS-114 is quite capable of launching a crew of 6, 7 or
more. Our point of difference appears to be the level of wisdom
behind such a decision. The more people NASA decides to launch on
-114, the more I expect to see them questioned regarding unnecessary
The first mission will have a lot of non-ISS tasks to accomplish to test all
the new procedures etc. And then it must perform ISS tasks.
The number of crewmembers should be dictated by what needs to be acocmplished
and how many people are needed to get all the tasks done in the time limit of
STS-114 is not a first msision. It is just a continuation of the shuttle
programme. After an orbiter had undergone a major maintenance period that
involved big changes (such as new Block engines etc) did they reduce crew size
? no. They crewed it according to the needs of a mission.
STS-114 is more than just post-major mx. It is post catastrophy. As
with post-51L, NASA is once again in a position of having to prove
If you happened to be the owner of a taxicab business and you had a
high frequency of tires falling off your cars followed by rollover or
some other incidence of death of all passengers and drivers, there is
a definite period of time after such catastrophy when confidence needs
to be built back up.
(But I'm open to considering alternative explanations as to why NASA
scaled back to five member crews post-51L.)