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The U.S. Space Shuttle program may not come to an end this year, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said in a statement, citing International Space Station (ISS) manager. According to Michael Suffredini, the space shuttle Atlantis may be launched to the ISS in summer 2011.
"In this case, additional scientific equipment and components for system of water regeneration from condensate could be delivered to the U.S. segment of the station," the statement said. "However, funding for this flight has not been provided so far."
The U.S. flights program was planned to be closed this year. The final flight to the ISS was due to be made by shuttle Endeavour on November 26 when Discovery is supposed to make its last trip in September.
Originally posted by anon72
I didn't think the US would just STOP the program. Not without something.
I just don't think we can trust the Russians so much that we can give them Top Secret stuff to handle and be in possession of.
Originally posted by Xeven
America should give the Shuttle Program to private industry in return for one mission a year.
This way the private industry could take over the existing program at no cost other than supplying Nasa a free mission once a year.
Then the companies could use the shuttle for profitible launches as many times as they could get it ready to launch in a year.
Private industry would probably be able to extend the shuttle life, make it cheaper to launch and even improve its existing technology without the constraints of a corrupted and lost government.