Cape Canaveral, FL - Due to budget constraints, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is redirecting space shuttle Discovery to Williamsburg, Virginia.
On its 39th and final flight, Discovery was slated to deliver a storage module to the International Space Station, but when NASA crunched the numbers, they realized that they only had enough gas to take them about 800 miles.
"Even 800 miles is pushing it," said Chief Engineer Michael Ryschkewitsch. "But, as with any mission, there's going to be some risk."
President Obama's five-year funding freeze has forced NASA to be judicious with its spending and creative with its execution. Though earthbound missions are not typical, the government agency believes that this domestic effort could reinvigorate the program and drum up much-needed attention from the media.
"Colonial Williamsburg is a great opportunity to raise the program's profile," said Kenneth Ford, chairman of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). "I mean, how have they managed to keep 301 acres of historic houses and buildings intact since the 18th century? Well, we're going to find out."
This will be NASA's 133rd shuttle mission before the 30-year shuttle program is terminated. The shuttle program is expected to be replaced by really big sling shots.
Originally featured in dailypygmy.com
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