- The Chicago Astronomer -
Copyright 2004-2014 All rights reserved by Joseph Guzman Administrator/Founder/Chief Astronomer.
All text and images are the property of the original authors/artists and shall
not be used without permission.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Feb 1, 2006 18:27:03 GMT -6
Proposed Federal Budget to Spare Shuttle Flights
CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA and its supporters in Congress have won a behind-the-scenes battle with White House budget writers who suggested retiring one or more of the shuttles early and canceling some remaining flights to save money.
The 2007 federal budget to be released Monday is not expected to slash shuttle missions or change the goals that President Bush set two years ago, according to Congressional leaders, analysts and NASA officials.
NASA remains under orders to fly the shuttles through 2010, finish building the International Space Station and then replace the shuttles by 2014 with new spaceships capable of carrying astronauts to the moon.
"Our best guess at this point is that the shuttle will . . . execute something like 17, 18 flights between now and retirement," Griffin said while at KSC last month for the launch of a probe to Pluto.
Just last week, the agency adjusted its contract with Lockheed Martin to purchase 18 shuttle fuel tanks. The deal will bring NASA's total inventory to 22 tanks, which officials said covers the agency's needs until 2010.