It would now appear that the development of the much needed ‘alternative commercially operated transportation’, something that NASA will be relying upon for future delivery of cargo to the International Space Station, may not be proceeding as quickly as had been hoped.
NASA boss Charles Bolden is reported to have said this week at the Marshall Space Flight Centre that:
"We are hoping to fly a third shuttle mission in June, what everybody calls the launch-on-need mission ... and that's really needed to [reduce] the risk for the development time for commercial cargo. If there's any delay in ... delivery of commercial capability to take cargo to station, we could find ourselves in a situation as bad as having to de-man the station or take it down to three people, and we really don't want to do that".
Difficult times ahead then!