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Build the Space Station now, use it later


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The five international partners building the space station have laid out a new schedule to complete the outpost before 2010, when NASA must retire the space shuttle fleet.

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin made it clear during a press conference on Thursday that his goal is to make use of 16 remaining shuttle flights to ensure the half-built station is finished, so fulfilling NASA's international obligations.

By focusing solely on assembly – rather than on using the station for research at the same time – he said the team can have high confidence that it will complete the station using the shuttles and a complement of international vehicles.


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