27267534 story Inside a Last-Ditch Effort To Save the Space Shuttle 134 Posted by Soulskill on Monday December 19, 2011 @04:32PM from the can't-always-get-what-you-want dept. SkinnyGuy writes "NASA's Space Shuttle could have flown again as early as 2014 if a secret effort to repurpose them for commercial flight had succeeded. From the article: 'Though secret, the plan quickly gained support and Dittmar described how funding and interest grew dramatically. "Initially skeptical," she wrote, "people became caught up in the vision of a Commercial Space Shuttle funded entirely by private and institutional investors and put back into service to shape new markets." ...In the end, two crucial factors made it all but impossible to revive the shuttle program as a commercial enterprise or in any fashion. One was that so much of the Shuttle infrastructure has already been shifted to other efforts that the revival team could never pull together sufficient funds to return those resources to the Space Shuttles. Two: The SLS program.'"