Friday, May 20, 2005

NASA May Have To Abandon Space Station

Due to a law which bars the U.S. from purchasing flights on Russian spacecraft, NASA may not be able to keep personnel on the station when the shuttle is not docked after April 2006. An exception for 11 flights runs out after the launch of a module this September which is schedule to return in April 2006.

The law was enacted by Congress to punish Russia for alleged weapons technology transfers to Iran and bans NASA from purchasing flights from Russia unless the President certifies that Russia has taken steps to prevent the transfers. NASA and administration officials are said to be considering options for overcoming the ban.