Shuttle Flights Should be Extended, Space Pioneer John Glenn Says

For legendary astronaut andformer U.S. Sen. John Glenn, the video clips brought back memories of oldfriends. For the rest of the nation, they provided a glimpse of NASA's glorydays.

The clips were among 100hours of historicspace footage, newly restored in high-definition, released publicly Tuesday at a Capitol Hill ceremony to help markthe 50th anniversary of NASA.

During the event, Glenncalled for extending the work on the International Space Station and extendingthe life of the space shuttles beyond whatNASA is planning.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson andGlenn lamented the decreased funding for NASA programs -- and for science andtechnology projects in general -- during the past few years.

Glenn called for continued workon the International Space Station beyond 2015, when the nation plans topull the plug on its commitment.

Glenn said he also wouldlike to see the life of the space shuttles extended.

"The shuttles may beold, but they're still the most complex vehicle ever put together by people,and they're still working very well," Glenn said.

He said the few billiondollars it would cost to extend the shuttle's life by a year or two would beworth it to make Americans less dependent on the Russians during the gapbetween the shuttles'retirement and the first Orion flight.

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