Will NASA keep flying shuttles?

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Congressional sources are telling ABC News that President Obama is committed to flying the space shuttle, even if it's necessary to do so past the 2010 deadline set by President Bush.

Space Shuttle Atlantis sits on the launch pad, poised for liftoff on Monday on a mission to repair the Hubble telescope. Sources tell us the president is willing to fly the planned seven, or even a maximum of eight missions to complete the International Space Station, even if this would push shuttle flights into 2011.

This could become a bit of an issue for NASA. The longer the space agency spends flying the aging shuttle fleet and the more money it spends on the shuttle program, the less time and funding it has for development and manufacturing of the next generation moon ship Orion.

NASA wants to have Orion lifting off by 2015. We will be watching closely for this development and any statement the president makes regarding NASA, its funding and its future, and will report that to you as we get that information.

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