The rift is out in the open now. Only have to look in the weekend newspapers and shuttle manifest to see it.
Atlantis will not be retired after the Hubble repair mission. Gerst says there is no reason the shuttle couldn't fly an extra couple of years and he quietly oks relooking at the "unmanned orbiter" studies. Metal procured under the radar for additional ETs. Weldon and Hutchinson holding bake sales to keep shuttle flying. Nelson extracting the real story: 2010 is a goal, not a requirement.
Yet the Emperor loudly repeats for all to hear, "Shuttle retires in 2010." Except, now, no one is listening.
Shuttle hugs all around.