Space: September 25, 2002


NASA will send the space shuttles back to work after repairing cracks in their hydrogen fuel lines. These cracks are caused by stress as the engines cycle on and off during flight. While the cracks can be repaired, they raise serious doubts about NASA's plan to fly the shuttles another 20 years. Doing that would require a very expensive and time-consuming replacement of the fuel lines. It could take over two years to manufacture the parts and another year or more to install them in each orbiter. NASA sold the shuttle to Congress on the grounds that it would fly cheaply and often. Instead, the expensive engines have to undergo major overhauls after every flight, and the planned 24 flights per year have turned into about four.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Space: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close