Thursday, March 25, 2010

NASA watchdog projects last shuttle flight in January

NASA is likely to miss its September goal to retire the shuttle fleet, but not by as much as originally expected, the space agency's inspector general reported today.

The final flight is likely to launch in January 2011, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin said in his review. That's later than NASA's goal, but ahead of some projections. Previously, the NASA inspector general predicted the fleet's last flight would be in March.

To meet their current schedule, NASA managers project they'll spend up to $54 million in personnel overtime costs. The alternative, the report says, is to spend about $200 million a month to keep the shuttle flying well into 2011.

Retiring the fleet on time could "provide the agency the opportunity to redirect millions of dollars toward other priority programs," the report concludes.

The audit doesn't take into account talk of adding one more flight and it doesn't make allowances for any major delays to the launch schedule.

Read the report here.


Anonymous said...

Not sure why this article calls out budget issues. You can spend a lot of $$ for a high flight rate because of the overtime, or a bit less when the launches are spread out. Fly out the manifest and be done with it.

Also, what is meant by: "Retiring the fleet on time could "provide the agency the opportunity to redirect millions of dollars toward other priority programs," the report concludes." What are the options given that the direction of the U.S. space program is yet to be defined?

Anonymous said...

Why is NASA worrying about the budget. President Obama spends more money on Air Force One aircraft, crew and daily flights then Space Shuttle Program. President Obama should use commercial aircraft or teleconferencing. Why should taxpayers pay for his campaigning and daily flights.

Jerry W. said...

The title shoud be retiring the
"American Manned Space Program"
that would be a better title.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Barack Obama, for the "Change". When does the "Hope" return? 2012?

He did say he wanted to "fundimentally transform" America, didn't he. I hope you Obama voters are pleased with your decision.

Personally, I'm sick to my stomach.

Jerry W said...

when you do not know, what you do not know
then you know not who you do,this shoud be
Bolen's slogan

Anonymous said...

I say lay off 40% of the KSC shuttle workers now! Too many shuttle workers are paid too much money for screwing off 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. It's a shame some of the shuttle workers are hard working while so many screw off every day.

Retire one shuttle and fly the other two (1 each per year) for the next 5 years. Put money into the development of a heavy lift rocket. Not shuttle derived. Some new and exciting.