WASHINGTON — Top Administration officials will meet early next week to review the future of the troubled space program, but a decision on replacing Challenger has again been delayed, White House spokesman Larry Speakes said Friday.
He said the meeting will deal with a report by NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher to President Reagan on steps that the space agency is taking to implement recommendations issued by the commission headed by William P. Rogers that investigated the Challenger disaster.
A decision by Reagan on a new space shuttle to replace Challenger has been delayed again and is not expected for at least two more weeks, Speakes said. Reagan was close to a decision in May, but the issue has been complicated by questions of how to come up with more than $2 billion needed to build the new orbiter.
Not only will next week's meeting of senior officials review actions that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is taking to strengthen the shuttle program, but Speakes said it will also look at broader questions facing NASA.