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NASA Carefully Timed Space Shuttle Flights To Avoid What?
New Year's Eve
Astronauts' Birthdays
Summer Solstice
Solar Flares


Answer: New Year’s Eve

While launching men and women into space seems inherently high-tech and futuristic there were many elements of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program that were downright anachronistic by the time the shuttles were retired. One of the side effects of running a space craft full of 1980s-era computer chips and code was a very cautionary stance towards events that may have introduced unknown variables or factors the computer system wasn’t programmed to handle correctly.

It was that extreme caution and desire to bring every crew home safely that led NASA to approach the yearly roll over from December 31 to January 1 with a better safe than sorry attitude. Over the span of 135 Shuttle flights between 1986 and 2003, no Shuttle was ever launched, in space, or guided to re-entry on New Year’s in order to avoid any unforeseen problems with the on-board systems.

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