A reader was aghast-- outraged, I say-- at my suggestion that this precious music satellite, Project Calliope, might launch a few months late.
Now, the rocket people at InterOrbital Systems
are rock-solid and haven't had any reason to announce a delay. Their testing is on track. Certainly (as this blog shows) my satellite construction in proceeding in a timely fashion. So why do I think we won't launch until 2011?
The answer is just about everything launches late. Late is the new early. The launch industry is predicated on being absolutely perfect with engineering details, and wildly inaccurate about when you actually launch.
What can go wrong with a launch? Weather, for one. We still can't control the weather. Engineering quirks, the sort of anomalies that you check out rather than just say "eh, fire away, at worst it blows up". Fundamentals with new rocket designs, which require more caution. Delays from the payload people. Life is, after all, just a repeating series of delays.