NASA requests shuttle options, Huntsville Times
"It's not really a formal study, though," Yembrick said, "but an informal request. As an agency we realize we want to be prepared and look at our options across the program." Yembrick said the options would be part of briefings and testimony to White House officials, Congress and other decision makers NASA has to speak to about the subject, and it should take about a month to complete. Informal requests are often cloaked studies, said Keith Cowing, who runs the online site NASAWatch.com. "Whenever NASA gets caught in a study, but doesn't want anybody to know it is a study, then they try to call it something else," said Cowing."