The Last Shuttle Mission Awaits Funding

It now looks as if the last space shuttle flight will be in June. A flight that would have only flown if a rescue was needed has now been made an actual mission. But as Rod Rice reports, NASA still doesn't have the money to pay for it.

The space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for a final trip to the International Space Station if Congress comes up with the money. NASA's Brandi Dean says Congress seems to be behind the mission.

STS-125 crew portrait
The crewmembers for the STS-125 mission pose for a photo on the flight deck of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis. Pictured on the front row are astronauts Scott Altman (left), commander; Gregory C. Johnson, pilot; and Megan McArthur, mission specialist. Pictured on the back row (left to right) are astronauts Michael Good, Mike Massimino, John Grunsfeld and Andrew Feustel, all mission specialists.
NASA image.

"Congress has given us the permission to do it and they said they want us to go do it."

The problem is that the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution.

"Which means we're kind of waiting for our budget this year to be finalized and out actual flying of the mission will depend on that."

Atlantis is set for 12 days in space and will include one space walk. But, Dean says the primary mission will be to resupply the ISS.

"We'll be taking up one of the temporary moving van modules that we'll fill to the brim with one final round of supplies."

Atlantis will also bring back a pump module that failed so technicians can to try to determine what went wrong with it.

Atlantis and its crew of four are set for lift-off June 28th.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...