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NASA planning crew transfer vehicle for ISS
Posted: Thu, Oct 24, 2002, 9:38 PM ET (0138 GMT)
NASA is actively considering developing a crew transfer vehicle (CTV) that would be launched on an expendable vehicle to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. According to a letter from NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe to Rep. Ralph Hall (D-TX), the agency is looking into a CTV that could also serve as an ISS lifeboat. The CTV, developed on an accelerated schedule, could be ready by 2010 for an unspecified price. The CTV would initially be launched on expendable rockets, like the Delta 4 or Atlas 5, until a second-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV) is ready, at which time the RLV would be used to launch the CTV. O'Keefe's letter, dated September 30 but released by Rep. Hall's office Wednesday, was in response to a series of questions Hall sent to O'Keefe in June about the cancellation of the X-38, a prototype for a proposed crew return vehicle for ISS. In his response, O'Keefe said that one of the reasons why the X-38 was cancelled earlier this year was because the estimated cost of the program had increased from $1.3 billion to $3 billion, with the vehicle not ready for service until 2008.
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