Of the 135 Shuttle missions flown, most were of a 7-10 day duration.  With a desire to obtain the full potential from every mission NASA invested in hardware to allow an extension of scientific shuttle missions of up to 12-18 days.  This presentation looks at the challenges and restrictions in stretching the shuttle design beyond its original week-long mission profile and how this helped obtain significantly more data from a series of Extended Duration missions.  The presentation also reveals studies for extending shuttle flights even further to several weeks and how the opportunity for the shuttle to draw power from the International Space Station allowed an increase in docked time with the facility.
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Stretching the Shuttle