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Extending shuttle to cost $2B/year
Posted: Tue, Nov 4, 2008, 6:18 AM ET (1118 GMT)
STS-124: launch (NASA/KSC) Keeping the space shuttle flying beyond 2010 would cost $2 billion a year, a cost that could jeopardize development of key elements of Constellation, shuttle managers said Monday. The space shuttle is scheduled to be retired in 2010 upon the completion of the International Space Station, although there have been proposals by members of Congress and presidential candidates to add additional flights to the manifest in response to the projected five-year gap between the shuttle's retirement and the introduction of the Ares 1 launch vehicle and the Orion spacecraft. NASA officials warned that, without additional funding, any shuttle extension would likely result taking money from Constellation, further delaying Ares and Orion. Separately, a report issued Monday by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that odds were not good that NASA can fly all the remaining shuttle missions on the manifest by the end of September 2010. The CBO report that, for the 10 remaining shuttle missions plus one additional shuttle mission added by Congress in the recent NASA authorization bill, the odds of flying all by the deadline were only 5 to 30 percent.
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