Care of Hobbyspace.com, The Washington Post is worrying about proposed Shuttle schedules with six launches allegedly planned for this year
With 14 flights left (including Atlantis/STS-122 that NASASpaceflight.com is expecting a 2 February launch for), NASA could do five this year, five next year and four in 2010, with a February, April, June, August timetable, to retire the fleet within fiscal year 2010. Then again that could become 15 flights if Congress gets its way with its demands for a flight to International Space Station for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrograph (AMS)
Personally I think we are seeing a drift into 2011, and with 5,000 jobs potentially going with Shuttle's retirement in 2010 I wonder how significant that figure will become as we get closer to the November 2008 date of the US presidential election. Expect renewed candidates' commitments to a programme that employs a lot of voters in a state that has been crucial in past elections, me thinks
And then there is something else that has little hope of getting to ISS, Shuttle or not Shuttle. The British Interplanetary Society's latest issue of its Spaceflight magazine has a proposal for a UK built habitation module that would be attached to ISS' Node 3. This UK blog has some issues with the idea.
While I would recommend the latest issue of Spaceflight because there is an article about the Chinese manned space programme, by, well, me, of course! Or you can read my blogs about my China trip