Without the Shuttle Program, only capsules built on 1960′s technology will service the space station — a situation that highlights the growing gap in NASA’s human spaceflight capabilities, say the authors. NASA


Guest contributors George Abbey and Leroy Chiao discuss the possibility of forging closer ties with China in space.

Tue Nov 27, 2012 02:42 PM ET
Content provided by George Abbey and Leroy Chiao

The future of America’s space program is at a critical point in time; decisions are being made that will affect our ability to successfully maintain our leadership in human space flight, our national security and our capability to successfully compete with the international community in the commercial use of space.

What does the future hold for U.S. human spaceflight (HSF)? The United States had been the undisputed leader in space exploration for several decades, until recently.

With the completion of its last flight in July of 2011, the Space Shuttle has been arbitrarily retired. And today, Russia is the only partner in the International Space Station (ISS) program that is able to transport astronauts and cosmonauts to and from Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Read more: Time for the U.S. to Partner with China in Space? : Discovery News.

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