The safety of the space shuttle

We've never flown a shuttle over the new year, and this certainly isn't the year we're planning to break that tradition: Discovery is set to liftoff on December 16 and return December 26, which is a good thing, since Discovery has software that isn't Y2K compliant. Yikes, what if something goes wrong and they can't get back on time?

And what's the deal with everything being in "safe mode" nowadays? The Mars Lander, and the Hubble…even NASA must use Microsoft. <wink/>