Monday, December 07, 2009
STS-135 Atlantis A Possibility in 2010?
One additional space shuttle flight is under active consideration by officials at the Kennedy and Johnson Space Flight Centers in either late 2010 or early 2011 as a logistics mission to the International Space Station, according to NASA Spaceflight.com. If the ISS program is extended to 2020 as many now expect, NASA officials see the additional flight as necessary to boost cargo to orbit by Atlantis. There would be a Soyuz mission dedicated to back-up the flights as a rescue mission.
The report also notes that Colonel Steven W. Lindsey has been pencilled in to command the STS-135 mission to orbit should it be added to the space shuttle flight manifest in late 2010 or, more likely, early 2011. Some advance the idea of extending the space shuttle program to 2015 in the event the ISS is extended to 2020.