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Shuttle return-to-flight costs exceed $400 million
Posted: Mon, Feb 9, 2004, 8:40 PM ET (0140 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) The total cost of returning the space shuttle fleet to service after the Columbia accident last year will top $400 million, over $100 million more than what the agency estimated last fall. An updated version of the return to flight (RTF) plan, released by NASA late last week, reported that the cost of the RTF activities was now estimated to cost $404 million, compared to $280 million announced last November. The increase, a NASA spokesman told Florida Today, comes from having more precise knowledge of what needs to be done to return the shuttle to flight and the associated costs. The largest single cost associated with the RTF work is that associated with inspecting and repairing the shuttle's thermal protection system while in orbit: that work will now cost $99 million, compared to $57 million in November. NASA has also budgeted $315 million in its proposed fiscal year 2005 budget to cover additional shuttle RTF costs.
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