July 1, 2011

Can the Shuttles Be Saved? Possible Hint At NASA Press Conference: Call Congress

Watching the June 30 NASA press conference revealed a possible hint of staff support for saving the shuttle orbiters in some way--or at least delaying their destruction as flightworthy spacecraft as long as possible.

In answer to a question about United Space Alliance's proposal to save shuttles, the response was that they did not know if it will happen. They did NOT rule it out. Further, they stated Endeavour (and presumably Atlantis after landing) "will not be released for unrecoverable changes until NASA headquarters orders it."

What this may mean is NASA staff are not in support of destroying the flightworthiness of the shuttles and ending any possibility of a launch on need or the proposed United Space Alliance's takeover. They'll follow orders if "ordered by NASA HQ," which means ONLY if Administrator Bolden (or the White House) orders them to carve up the orbiters.

Certainly saving the shuttles in any form would likely take Congressional pressure and immediate willingness to fund the costs.

Call Congress now 202-224-3121 and ask they pressure the President to at minimum store in flightworthy condition the shuttles and not destroy the launch pad and other infrastructure. To be able to launch, staff would have to be retained and tanks/boosters built or sourced.

This week's space junk near-collision plus last July's failure of the cooling pump shows the continued ability to be able to deliver large items must be continued to assure we don't lose the entire ISS in an otherwise avoidable emergency.

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