Shuttle Life Extended Until Early Next Year?

NASA: Space shuttles may stay on until 2011

Despite progress in its effort to retire the space shuttle fleet, NASA is now unlikely to meet its initial September deadline, according to a government report released yesterday.

The 32-page report from NASA’s Office of the Inspector General concludes that it will probably take NASA until the first or second quarter of 2011 to complete the last of the four remaining shuttle flights. The report was released just prior to today’s meeting of NASA directors at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a flight readiness review of the space shuttle Discovery’s upcoming mission to the International Space Station, which has a launch date of April 5.

The inspector general’s report said that while the space agency continues efforts to complete the four remaining shuttle flights by Sept. 30, fulfilling that plan is unlikely.

With the torpedoes recently fired into the belly of the foundering Constellation program, this could almost be seen as good news for the wreckage of the US manned spaceflight program.


  1. …US manned spaceflight program.

    I can’t say I’m familiar with any current program that matches that description.

  2. I’d really like to see some news that doesn’t illustrate the continued slide of the U.S. as a leading power. This is getting depressing to see day after day. Spiraling debt, new entitlements, canceled programs of national prestige. And I’m not even a huge fan of maned space flight. But on the scale that the feds piss away money, space flight is like change lost in the cushions of the couch.

    In the mean time, NASA’s climate research arm gets another few hundred million. Of borrowed money that is.

  3. I hate to say it, but considering recent NASA history, and it’s )lack) of support by the current administration, I would not be surprised at all if they lose another shuttle and crew.

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