The NASA space shuttle Discovery sits upon its launch pad waiting for countdown to begin. Unfortunately, Discovery is currently powered down due to problems discovered involving the external fuel tanks. Discovery is suffering from external tank bracket crackage. The earliest possible date for blast-off is December 17, but more engineering evaluations, tests, and repairs are needed. Some casual observers are also commenting that the shuttle seems to be leaning a bit to the left (possibly to reflect the inclinations of the Obama administration).