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Shuttle return-to-flight costs climb
Posted: Mon, Jul 19, 2004, 1:56 PM ET (1756 GMT)
STS-107: launch (NASA/KSC) The cost of returning the space shuttle to flight after last year's loss of Columbia continues to climb, NASA officials said Friday, with the potential total cost of the effort exceeding $1 billion. Managers said they now anticipate spending $450 million on shuttle return-to-flight (RTF) activities this fiscal year, compared to a previous estimate of $265 million announced in February. Next year NASA believes it will need $350-650 million, compared to an earlier estimate of $238 million. Officials said the cost increase was caused the increased scope of the RTF efforts, and not problems estimating the costs of those efforts. NASA has enough money in its shuttle budget this year to pay for the RTF activities, but may need additional money to cover the costs in 2005.
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