Saturday, December 17, 2005

Shuttle Atlantis in Danger of Being Mothballed!

In the face of impending budgetary cutbacks, lawmakers say the Shuttle Atlantis may be permanently grounded. Given the fleet is due to be retired by 2010, this means Atlantis would never see Space again.
According to a letter sent by lawmakers to President George Bush, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget , the group responsible for administrating Bush's budget, will short NASA $3 to $6 billion dollars in the 2007-2010 budget years. More than enough to force the elimination of all future Atlantis flights.
NASA said it needs 19 more shuttle flights to fulfill its obligation to the International Space Station, at a cost of nearly $22 billion. That's about $3 to $6 billion more than is being allotted, lawmakers say.
In response, an OMB representative said Bush actually increased the NASA budget by 15 percent, but would provide more details.
A NASA cutback seems odd, considering the Bush vision for the Moon, Mars and beyond, but anything is possible.

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