MarkWhittington writes with an article on the AssociatedContent site, discussing the impending US space flight gap. Between 2010 (the end of the shuttle era) and 2015 (expected date for the launch of the Orion project) the United States will have little or no spaceflight capability. This is an obvious concern to some members of Congress and NASA. "Is all, therefore, doom and gloom? Not necessarily. Just over a year ago, NASA chose two companies for its Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems (COTS) program ... The goal of COTS was for the two companies to build prototype space craft capable of delivering crews and cargo to the International Space Station. A second phase of the COTS program would consist of a competition for a contract to actually deliver crews and cargo to ISS after 2010 ... Private industry may well come to the rescue and preserve American access to space, at least until Orion becomes operational."