Well, here we are folks...2008, just two years before 2010, the year in which we make contact, and when political events on Earth affected the operations on the Discovery/Leonov between the American and Russian crews. So I was wondering, with the shuttle retiring in 2010 and the current situation in Georgia with world relations with Russia changing as we speak, is fiction becoming reality? Until the Ares system gets up and running, we're supposedly going to be dependant on the Russian Soyuz launches to ferry us to the ISS. Is this going to be a good idea? Will the shuttle program get extended if things really blow up (pun intended) between Russia and the West?