return to flight july 13th

According to a recent AP article, Space Shuttle Discovery is “ready to launch on July 13th”: Perhaps even more interesting is a little blurb at the end of the article:

_The Iran Non-Proliferation Act would effectively bar U.S. astronauts from staying on the space station after April 2006. The bill, passed in 2000, had aimed to prevent Russia from helping Iran expand its nascent nuclear program._

Whoops. That might be something to look into…

2 thoughts on “return to flight july 13th

  1. Um, so they’re banning U.S. astronauts?!? How does that work? Wouldn’t they be banning Russians or Iranians or nuclear arms or something?

  2. From an analysis of the Act:

    _Section 6 of the INA bans U.S. payments to Russia in connection with the International Space Station (ISS) unless the U.S. President determines that Russia is taking steps to prevent such proliferation. The ISS is currently under construction in orbit. According to current plans, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will become dependent on Russia for certain ISS crew-related services beginning in April 2006 for which NASA must pay._

    Basically, the Act prevents NASA from paying fees to Russia for use of the Russian sections of the station, which means that NASA astronauts can really only use the station when a Shuttle is docked there. Fun!

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