Well we may as get right into the thick of it.
As you may know NASA's scheduled launch of the Atlantis shuttle on Thursday had to be scrubbed due to the failure of a pair of fuel gauges on the external tank. NASA had originally only delayed the launch by a few day but now launch engineers plan the next possible launch date to be January 2, 2008, so that they can decide exactly how to fix the problem. The fuel gauges monitor the levels of super-chilled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant in Atlantis' external tank. They serve as a backup system to shut down the shuttle's three main engines during flight before the fuel tank runs dry. On Thursday two of the four gauges were malfunctioning. Ever since 2005 NASA has been plagued by engine shut-offs and many other problems. Don't you think they should have just built a more reliable machine to begin with? But anyway, hopefully Atlantis will get off the ground in January and complete its 11 day run which included at least three spacewalks to attach the $2 billion Columbus lab to the ISS.