NASA seems to really like Mercury retrograde. NASA first launched the Discovery space shuttle on August 30, 1984 when Mercury was retrograde. The Discovery launched the Hubble telescope on April 24 1990 when Mercury was retrograde.
After the initial launch of the Hubble scientists discovered that the optical mirror was flawed. Because the Hubble was supposed to be shooting photographs of deep space, this was a real problem.
Often Mercury Retrograde periods can be used to repair problems from previous Mercury Retrograde events. For example, in July of 2006 problems during Mercury Rx kept the Discovery from a successful launch, and the December launch, also during Mercury Rx was successful.
Yesterday, with Mercury Retrograde, the Atlantis space shuttle was launched with a crew to repair the Hubble telescope. Immediately after its launch scientists discovered some damage to the exterior of the shuttle but it was termed “minor.”
This is a good illustration that Mercury Retrograde periods do not necessarily need to be feared. Yes, problems occur but they are rarely fatal.
Joseph Mina adds in the comments:
NASA was created by an act of Congress on July 29, 1958. At that time, Mercury at 2 Virgo conjuncted Pluto at 1 Virgo, both sextile Neptune at 2 Scorpio. Just prior, on July 20th, Mercury entered its retrograde shadow at 24 Leo with the retrograde station occurring on August 9 at 7 Virgo. So Mercury Retrograde would be a natural rhythm for NASA. Add the Scorpion juice of the Pluto conjunction to the mix and you have some high octane rocket propellant. One other interesting astrological point – Chiron in the July 29 chart is 21 Aquarius. As transiting Chiron is now moving back and forth over that degree with Jupiter, a renewed energy is building to take NASA in a different direction. Very happy the Hubble Telescope repair is underway. The images coming from that device over the past 19 years have redefined our understanding of the Universe in extraordinary ways.