NASA ponders future without shuttles

Mar 10, 2008
NASA logo

U.S. space officials are concerned NASA will have to rely on other countries to carry astronauts into space after its three space shuttles are retired.

NASA plans to retire its aging space shuttles in 2010 because of their high cost and safety concerns, with nothing scheduled to replace them until at least 2015, The Washington Post reported. That means there will be no way to transport astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station without having to pay another country to do it.

Right now, Russia is the only country that can fly humans to the space station. "We will be largely dependent on the Russians, and that is a terrible place for the United States to be. I'm worried and many others are worried." NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told the newspaper.

NASA's current budget calls for spending $2.6 billion for transportation to the space station between fiscal 2009 and 2013.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: New Horizons spacecraft experiences anomaly

Related Stories

Working out in artificial gravity

12 hours ago

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons spacecraft experiences anomaly

9 hours ago

The New Horizons spacecraft experienced an anomaly the afternoon of July 4 that led to a loss of communication with Earth. Communication has since been reestablished and the spacecraft is healthy.

Dwarf planet Ceres offers big surprises for scientists

9 hours ago

The closer we get to Ceres, the more perplexing the dwarf planet grows. NASA's Dawn spacecraft has found several more bright spots as well as a pyramid-like peak jutting out of the frigid world's surface.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

superhuman
not rated yet Mar 11, 2008
>We will be largely dependent on the Russians, and that is a terrible place for the United States to be. I'm worried and many others are worried.

Haha, I bet Russians are happy.

On a serious note I'm a bit surprised that NASA didn't come up with any replacement vehicle yet or at least a plan to prolong the space shuttle service until the next transport is ready. One would think that having the ability to send astronauts into space should be one of their priorities.

Maybe this line about having to relay on Russians is just a scare tactic aimed at congress to get more funding.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.