Wednesday, April 6, 2011

US leaves space for Russia

By the end of this year, NASA will no longer be able to send humans into space.
According to Barack Obama’s plan, responsibility will go to private companies, which are expected to come up with cheaper ways to ferry astronauts to low-Earth orbit.
“They know they have a big step to take if they are going to put humans into space… They have a lot of work to do,” says NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams.
No one can say for sure when the private American companies will come up with a new spaceship.
For years to come, it will be the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which is going to be the only means for people to reach the International Space Station, which is perfectly fine with the leaders of Russia and the US, but does not sit well with many Americans.

“How could this happen? We could make it to the Moon, there was wonderful equipment, and now we are reduced to being passengers on a Russian ship. That’s a wounded pride thing,” says Marianne Dyson, an author and former NASA flight controller. Wounded pride also revealed itself in comments by some American lawmakers, astronauts, scientists and former NASA officials. "We will be largely dependent on the Russians, and that is a terrible place for the United States to be," former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told the Washington Post.

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