So this NASA RFI on sending Orbiter’s to museums has done the rounds on the internet but the reality is that the fleet won’t be retired in 2010. Why, you may ask?It is as simple as this
The end of the Space Shuttle programme is going to see thousands lose well paid jobs in a politically sensitive state
Obama is facing re-election in 2012 with that election campaign starting, what, a year after the shuttle fleet is suppose to be stood down in 2010?
Even in good economic times some in the Democratic party, or any political party in power, would be questioning that electorally sensitive timing. Really you want to have a $6 billion programme shut down in the first year after the election, not mid-term
So now, in what is expected to be the worst recession in decades, would any government shut down a programme that makes that many people unemployed? And, will make people whose jobs are supported indirectly by those high value NASA jobs, unemployed too? No
Remember you heard it here first, Obama won’t retire the Shuttles in 2010, he’ll extend their life but for how long is for another blog post entirely…