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Last Flight for Atlantis Begins Tomorrow

May 13th, 2010

Absent congressional action to delay the end of the space shuttle program, the Atlantis orbiter will make its final flight to orbit at 2:20 pm EDT tomorrow.   The weather forecast for the STS-132 launch is 70% favorable.  The 12-day mission will take a Russian mini research module and other equipment and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

Under the current plan, only two more shuttle flights remain:  STS-133 (Discovery) in September and STS-134 (Endeavour) in November.


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Capitol Hill News

Mollohan Loses Primary

May 11th, 2010

UPDATE:  Rep. Mollohan lost the primary.  He will remain in Congress for the rest of this year, of course, but the extent to which his lame duck status affects the outcome of the debate on NASA’s FY2011 funding and the Obama plan for human space flight is an unknown at this point.

ORIGINAL STORY:  Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is in a tight primary race today.   With anti-incumbent fervor shaping political races this year, Rep. Mollohan’s close to 30 years in the House may work against him rather than for him as would be typically true.   He chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA.   How a loss today would affect the congressional debate over NASA’s new plan for human spaceflight is unknown.  Even if he wins today, he faces Republican opposition in November.   His opponent today, state Senator Mike Oliverio, is quoted as saying that “Congress is broken” and “we need to clean House.”    Stay tuned.

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