Shuttle extension would cost NASA $2 billion a year, Orlando Sentinel
"Flying the space shuttle past its scheduled 2010 retirement date would cost NASA at least $2 billion a year, money that the agency doesn't have to spare, said NASA shuttle program manager John Shannon. Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have both said they wanted the option of flying the shuttle beyond 2010. NASA has been looking into what it would take to keep the orbiters operating after September 2010, when NASA was supposed to mothball the fleet. That study is now finished, Shannon said. It found no problems with the supply of spare parts and services for the three shuttles if they flew until 2015. The workforce did not look like it would be an issue either. "We have not laid off anybody we would need to continue with the program," Shannon said."