How many times have space shuttle launches been scrubbed
How many times have space shuttle launches been scrubbed?
Using the criteria in the summary of space shuttle missions, viz
Shifts are defined as start delays that occurred prior to calling stations for the OMI S0007 Shuttle Countdown.
Scrubs are changes to the start date after the shuttle countdown has started (the countdown has ended or has been traced back to a later start date).
- Delays are delays that only occur on the day of take-off.
(Bullets and emphasis mine.) (Pad breaks are counted as peelings.)
I get 121 peels in 135 launch campaigns or a nearly 90% chance of scrubbing. To actually answer the question asked, ~ 1.9 start attempts per mission.
Worst of all were STS-61C and STS-73, each with 6 peels.
The linked document contains some information about each peel.
Note: There is some ambiguity that can change the number of scrubs by some in either case. Mission 51-E was canceled after its launch, and throughout the hydrogen leak fiasco there was a lot of rolling in and out, fueling tests, etc. for missions STS-35 and -38.
Unfortunately, it looks like the track record hasn't really gotten better over time. This shows the number of peels applied against the later start date.
- A - the best run in the program, 9 consecutive starts without scrubs
- B - Standstill according to STS-51L
- C - Standstill according to STS-107
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