Michael D. Griffin:NASA needs up to $5 billion

Michael D. Griffin, the agency administrator said, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration needs up to $5 billion more than previously budgeted to operate the space shuttle before the program ends in 2010, and it is looking for ways to reduce the shortfall.

Testifying before the House Science Committee, Dr. Griffin said the cost of operating the shuttle fleet before it is retired was higher than expected.

NASA is trying to find savings in the shuttle program to avoid hurting other agency projects, while still flying enough &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/15891_Discovery.html' target=_blank>shuttle missions to fulfill obligations to finish the International Space Station, he said.

Dr. Griffin said "painful choices" might be needed to pursue President Bush's plan to send people back to the Moon before 2020, informs New York Times.

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