Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NASA names what could be its final shuttle crew

NASA today named four veteran astronauts who could become the last crew to fly a shuttle: commander Chris Ferguson (left), pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

For now, the astronauts comprise the "launch on need" crew that will be on standby to fly a rescue mission if Endeavour, which is now the last scheduled flight, sustains crippling damage.

But if Congress and the White House approve funding to add one more flight to the two currently scheduled, the newly named crew would fly that mission to deliver International Space Station supplies next June aboard Atlantis.

"The normal training template for a shuttle crew is about one year prior to launch, so we need to begin training now in order to maintain the flexibility of flying a rescue mission if needed, or alter course and fly an additional shuttle mission if that decision is made," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, in a statement.

Gerstenmaier said the crew would begin baseline training for the potential additional mission, which would be the shuttle program's 135th.

IMAGE: On on Thanksgiving Day in 2008, astronaut Chris Ferguson, STS-126 commander, signed Endeavour's crew patch in the Quest Airlock of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Chinese would buy the whole thing if asked .After they land they will be eligible for 99 weeks unemployment I guess ,maybe THATS what Obama really meant on supporting manned space program,Sure ,thats it .

Anonymous said...

How come they're all white? I see the millionth controversially stupid article being written.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Antagonist posts about NASA=WELFARE program just ingore and delete ANYTHING that idiot posts.

Anonymous said...

Why is this flight necessary? The Russian Progress module can and will service the ISS.....smells like stinking pork. Say goodnight Kosmos...your time is over at the trough!

Anonymous said...

It's really sad that Conservative Republican and former President Bush spent all our money on the WMD SCAM and put an end to the Space Shuttle Program.

I am glad that I never voted for him or his Dad.

Anonymous said...

I'll walk, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can we add Lisa Nowak to the shuttle manifest -- but give her a 'one way' flight?

Anonymous said...

I think Lisa Nowak is already on a 'one way' flight, just in her mind...

Anonymous said...

Should be an all women crew!

Anonymous said...

Can 3 non-ast safety people and 4 non-ast quality people fly on the last flight?