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SHUTTLE PROGRAM PHASEOUT

POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 5:05pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm

Different scenarios emerging for the eventual end of the Space Shuttle Program...

NASA's current plan is to complete the International Space Station, retire the shuttles, and build new space ships.

But those plans may change.

A committee has been appointed by President Obama to look at NASA and come up with different solutions.

Three scenarios have come out of a meeting held recently in Houston at Johnson Space Center.

One, is to increase NASA's budget by $1.5 billion to fly the last seven shuttle missions and to extend International Space Station operations through 2020.

Another would be to add an eighth shuttle flight to keep the ISS supplied and narrow the gap between shuttle retirement and new ships up and running.

A third option is to keep the shuttle running till 2014.

The retirement of the shuttle fleet could mean the loss of 3,500 jobs along the Florida Space Coast.

The new proposals could means job continuation and for the surrounding area, economic stability.

"Great crew out there. If it wasn't for the people in this community and the surrounding area down here, we wouldn't have a space program. These people know their jobs," says Titusville resident Lynn Smith.

The Presidents space flight committee will meet in Cocoa Beach on Thursday.

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