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Endeavour astronauts look to future

The crew of NASA's space shuttle Endeavour, lead by Commander Mark Kelly (front right), departs from their quarters to Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on April 29, 2011. Endeavour and her crew were to fly on a fourteen day mission, STS 134, to the International Space Station. The launch attempt has been postponed due to a faulty auxiliary power unit heater. NASA has rescheduled the launch to occur in 48 hours. UPI /Joe Marino - Bill Cantrell
The crew of NASA's space shuttle "Endeavour", lead by Commander Mark Kelly (front right), departs from their quarters to Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on April 29, 2011. Endeavour and her crew were to fly on a fourteen day mission, STS 134, to the International Space Station. The launch attempt has been postponed due to a faulty auxiliary power unit heater. NASA has rescheduled the launch to occur in 48 hours. UPI /Joe Marino - Bill Cantrell | License Photo

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 29 (UPI) -- As NASA's space shuttle program winds down with the last launch set for this summer, many U.S. astronauts say they're wrestling with what they'll do next.

"I think all of us, with all the changes that are going on with our country's space program and NASA, all of us professional astronauts are looking into our hearts to see what we're going to do next," Endeavour mission specialist Mike Fincke said.

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The only way for American astronauts to get to space for the foreseeable future will be aboard Russian rockets, CNN reported Friday.

"Flying in space is a very difficult thing to give up," Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly said. "I remember after my last flight thinking, 'Well, maybe this is the last time I'm gonna do this.' And, you know, you go a couple of months out and you're like, 'Oh, I really hope this is not the end of my flying career.'"

Endeavour and the other shuttles have been remarkable successes, pilot Gregory Johnson said.

"We have put satellites up into orbit," Johnson said. "We have done mapping of the whole topography of the Earth. We have taken up the Hubble Telescope and serviced it several times. And we've built this huge space station. The vehicle has done its job."

Endeavour's Friday launch for its last mission was scrubbed, with the next possible launch date on Sunday.

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