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Monday, March 15, 2010

Can the Space Shuttle Fly Beyond 2010?

In the 7:26 video, leader of the John Shannon and responsible for all space shuttle activities, discusses supply line logistics of any federal policy to continue the space shuttle program beyond 2010. Shannon notes the base annual cost of $2.4 billion regardless the number of spaceflights manifested each year. Launch after 2010 will require a 24-months wait to produce large extenral tank supplies from the 30-yr old civil space launch service hardware.

Meanwhile, STS-131 Discovery will continue the April 5 launch campaign at the Kennedy Space Center to achieve orbit prior to the Florida visit by President Barrack Obama April 15. How any launch day delay may impact the inaugural launch of the commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 is not known. SpaceX hopes to launch April 12. The USAF/DARPA X39B minishuttle is expected to be lofted to space aboard an Atlas V in an undisclosed April date too.

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