Space Shuttle prog to be completed by 2010: NASA Official

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Hyderabad, Sep 26: The 'Space Shuttle' programme will be completed by September 10, 2010, National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) Associate Administrator of the Space Operation Missions Directorate William Gerstenmaier said today.

Talking to newspersons on the sidelines of International Astronautical Conference 2007 here, he said the new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) would be pressed into service immediately after the space shuttle was wound up by using Suyuz shuttles of Japan and Russia.

'STS-120, the 23rd shuttle flight to the International Space Station, will deliver and install a new module, 'the Harmony Node 2'. Harmony will allow the addition of new European and Japanese space laboratories on upcoming missions, the NASA official said, adding that the crew members have been assigned to start training for the mission.

Stating that NASA was conducting studies of the recent 'space shuttle on orbit tile damage that occurred on the shuttle flight in August 2007, Mr William said NASA also understood how to balance the risk to the shuttle structure during re-entry against risk to the crew and shuttle.

Preparations for Space Shuttle Discovery were in full swing, which was scheduled to roll out to launch pad 39A aboard the crawler transporter on September 30.

Discovery's launch on mission STS-120 was targeted for October 23, he added.

UNI

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