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Congress advised NASA to abandon the extension of the shuttle mission.. / January 19, 2010 /

Aerospace Safety Commission (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel — ASAP) in the U.S. Congress published its annual report in which the NASA programs evaluated in terms of safety of astronauts and economic viability. Among other findings, the commission recommended not to extend the mission of the shuttle after 2010 (some experts believe that the agency should not abandon the space shuttle so soon).

Full report in pdf format can be downloaded here. Summary of the document is given at NASA.

Another finding of the Commission — NASA should not abandon the development of current space program before the agency will assess and weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of alternative options. Fears that NASA stop work on some missions involve, inter alia, to difficulties encountered in implementing the program «Constellation». It involves the creation of new rockets and spacecraft that will replace the shuttle. In developing a new space transportation engineers are faced with many unforeseen difficulties and were forced to reduce its functionality. Learn more about what problems to be solved NASA, to develop new vehicles, can be read here.

The report for 2009 focused on the evaluation of manned space programs of the American space agency. Thus, the committee members noted that so far none of the private companies involved in the design of spacecraft, is not sufficient qualification for the issuance of ships suitable for manned missions. In this case the development of launch vehicles and cargo ships making good progress. So, in July 2009 a private company SpaceX became the first non-state enterprise, launched its own satellite. Until November 2010 SpaceX plans to send to the ISS space «vehicle».

The establishment of ASAP was adopted in 1967 after the crash of the spacecraft «Apollo-1». During a ground test aboard the Apollo fire started, and all crew members were killed. After a disaster, the shuttle Columbia in 2003, Congress ordered ASAP annually submit their reports.

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