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Journal: Shuttle retirement could just be simply pushed back 1

Journal by Robotbeat

Well, the easiest way to get out of this is to just extend the shuttle lives by a few more years. Granted, this will make it more difficult to finance everything, but if this is like a new "Cold" War and access to space is considered a national security imperative, then the funding could be found relatively easily.

There's really no way around this. And, neither presidential candidate wants to lose Florida by appearing to want to underfund NASA, and even more, neither wants to appear weak on national security. I'm not so worried about this. They will find a way.

BTW, I would like to explain to everyone out there a little fact about Russia: Don't be so surprised that the new "New Russia" is so much like the Old Russia. Moscow has gotten used to controlling a vast empire (especially in the Caucasus) ever since right after they decisively kicked the Mongols out of town over five hundred years ago. They don't take too kindly to being treated "with no respect" by the EU and the US, who have expanded NATO right up to the border with Russia. Don't get me wrong, it's not right that Russia is throwing its weight around to intimidate its former-slave-states, but that's politics in Russia (in the rest of the world, too?): It's better to appear evil than weak. I don't really agree with the world-view that all of the democratic movements in the former-Soviet states are merely strategic US moves to weaken Russia, but that's exactly how Russia views it.

Also, don't forget that the Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russia's main spaceport) actually is in Kazakhstan, being rented by Russia. The rent is US $115 million/year, fixed. With increased US dollar inflation, Kazakhstan may decide that they don't think the terms of the lease are fair, so they may take back their land, too. This would leave Russia in a spot similar to the US, although Russia does have a second spaceport on Russian soil (and is working on a third for manned launches starting in 2018). Granted, if there was a war going on, I would actually be surprised if Russia didn't retake Baikonur by force if Kazakhstan decided to take back their own land.

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming

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