Who sets the Shuttle Launch Schedule?... Jul 18, 2005 11:26:58 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 18, 2005 11:26:58 GMT -6
White House Memo Calls For Slashing Remaining Space Shuttle Flights
WASHINGTON - According to a White House staffer, a memo representing official Bush administration space policy calls for no more than 15 space shuttle flights before the fleet is retired in 2010.
Specifically, the memo says "The Administration is convinced that 28 Shuttle flights are not required to assemble a Space Station that meets the goals of the Vision and that this number of flights is not achievable by 2010. The projected increases to the Shuttle's lifetime budget could put the Vision in jeopardy ... To ensure that the Shuttle can be retired safely by the end of the decade at close to its planned lifetime budget, and without undue schedule pressure, Passback assumes that the Space Shuttle program is limited to a total of 15 additional flights to complete the assembly of the Space Station."
As of this writing, no Bush administration official, including OMB Director Josh Bolton, has made this claim in public. But sources suggest NASA and the White House are seriously considering the ideas contained in the memo Shawcross has been promoting.
The issue raises questions as to whether NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin or the OMB is in control of shaping U.S. space exploration policy. Griffin, as of late last week, reportedly denied that there were any plans to limit NASA to 15 shuttle missions - as we reported in an earlier article.
Griffin has also stated, however, that flying this number of missions (28) and still retiring the space shuttle in 2010 would not be possible. A revised mission manifest is currently under development by NASA. Griffin has stated repeatedly that retirement of the shuttle no later than 2010 would be the priority of the administration, not a full completion of the station, which had previously been the driving goal.
More here: www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1049
Here we go, and now it begins...
The butting of heads and opinons have begun. I would prefer Griffin to establish the schedule based on real ability and science...and leave the political agenda out.