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NASA planning long-duration shuttle visits to ISS
Posted: Tue, Oct 29, 2002, 10:45 AM ET (1545 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) NASA is considering having space shuttles spend up to two weeks at a time docked to the International Space Station to help overcome the limitations of the station's three-person crew. UPI reported Monday that NASA is considering two such long-duration missions, one in April 2005 and the other in January 2008, where the shuttle would remain docked to the station for at least two weeks. The shuttles would be equipped with extended duration units, such as those used on long-duration shuttle missions in the 1990s, allowing the shuttle to remain in orbit for over two weeks. NASA officials have yet to decide whether to use those long-duration visits to conduct a burst of scientific experiments or to clean a backlog of maintenance tasks. Such extended-duration visits would partially objections scientists have had about having only a three-person crew on the station that can devote only about 20 hours a week to research.
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