Cockpit upgrade on back burner
Ideas from changes will be used in future flights
One thing Discovery won't carry is a cockpit upgrade Commander Steve Lindsey helped develop, but its ideas will be employed in the shuttle's successor.
The shuttle cockpits were designed in the 1970s, before designers thought much about how people would use them and how computers might help, Johnson Space Center's Bruce Hilty said.
"A bunch of engineers designed the way the shuttle operates," said Hilty, who worked with Lindsey on the avionics upgrade project.
The current cockpits don't employ safety lessons that have been learned over the years from aviation. "A tremendous percentage of aviation accidents are related to crew error," he said.