No cash for rockets
The week's news at a glance.
The Russian manned space program will perish if the U.S. scuttles the space shuttle program, Russian officials said this week. Russias entire program of manned spaceflight is tied to the International Space Station, and without the shuttles, it will be impossible to keep the Space Station adequately fueled and supplied, the officials said. Even though Russian cargo rockets are simple and relatively cheap, Russia wouldnt be able to build enough to make up for the loss of American shuttles; its annual space budget is just $266 million, less than 2 percent of NASAs $14.7 billion. So if the shuttles remain grounded, Russia would be left without a manned spaceflight program for the first time since it shot Yuri Gagarin into orbit in 1961. We must do everything to prevent the collapse of the International Space Station project, said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. It is the accomplishment of all mankind.