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: Planetary Society hopes tiny satellite sets sail above Earth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

4 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

6 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

7 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

7 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Recommended for you

Tidal forces gave moon its shape, according to new analysis

13 hours ago

The shape of the moon deviates from a simple sphere in ways that scientists have struggled to explain. A new study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz shows that most of the moon's overall shape can be explained by taking into ...

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.