schliz writes "Nasa has announced that it intends to officially retire the aging space shuttle fleet by 2010, four years before it has a replacement craft ready. The space shuttle fleet will make ten more flights, mainly to add modules to the International Space Station and carry out repairs and upgrades to the Hubble orbital telescope. The retirement will leave the US without orbital capacity for at least four years, until the Ares booster programme is complete. European and Russian launchers will service the space station in the meantime."
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