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NASA mulls early retirement for space shuttle

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posted on Oct, 29 2004 @ 09:23 AM
Preliminary studies look at off-loading station building to rockets

By James Oberg
NBC News space analyst
Special to MSNBC
Updated: 9:45 p.m. ET Oct. 28, 2004

HOUSTON - Even as NASA gears up for the space shuttle's return to flight next year, officials at the space agency are quietly studying the possibility of cutting back its number of missions and retiring the spacecraft years ahead of schedule, has learned.

With the shuttle's main objective being the completion of the international space station, such an early retirement would mean either transferring major station assembly and supply jobs to expendable rockets and/or dropping some station components entirely.

No decisions have been made and it is not unusual for NASA to study several courses of action. Any change to the shuttle program's current schedule would have significant economic and diplomatic repercussions at home and abroad, however, which makes even such tentative discussion a touchy topic at the battered space agency.


posted on Oct, 29 2004 @ 09:34 AM
As much as I love the shuttles, it is time to move on. We've got rockets now with similar lifting capabilities, and if we need something to lift something bigger we can develop new rockets or break whatever it is into sections and assembly it in space. NASA, ESA, and the other space agencies are all highly resourceful (when they let the engineers do the work, at least) so I'm sure something will work out eventually.

posted on Oct, 29 2004 @ 09:39 AM
I'm thinking that they've probably already got the "next generation" shuttles / craft ready.. something that the public doesn't know about yet and this is the start of bringing it out ?

I dunno just a thought.

posted on Oct, 29 2004 @ 09:49 AM
Nasa changes there mind to much,
hmmmm.....Maybe Kerry is in charge.

But I dont think they have any Next Gen shuttle. They have being trying to build one for along time but I dont think they have yet commited themselves into building one. But they are still working on it, and it should be in space no later then 2012.

posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 12:03 AM
Dear Nasa,
Take those resource intensive, out dated, flying money pits out of service asap.
How many more have to break and then "waste" billions of dollars & many years on repairing/ re inventing parts for the shuttles?

I think this goes beyond preserving human life / making it safe for astronauts / protecting remaining assets etc....

They were an awesome vehicle and still are, I suppose, but they have serviced us well and now its time for newer and better. As the saying goes All good things must come to an end! The end should have been with Columbia. Its seems 3 steps back and .5 forward by RTF.

However, I am sure there is a good reason to keep beating these dead horses - its a good way to 're allocate' funds...

Perhaps there is a retro thang goin on at NASA we don't know about?

Plus has anyone asked what the poor astronauts want? They essentially are the end user for NASA/JPL/....

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