NASA getting Bored of ISS?

Dear dear me - without this what else will NASA have to do? They've already had a no go for mars... perhaps its just gunna be a glorified travel agency...

" THE SPACE STATION, sponsored by a 16-nation consortium, recently celebrated the second anniversary of a permanent astronaut presence on board. With the total cost of the station soaring toward an estimated $100 billion in recent years, the project has been under strong pressure from scientific groups for not living up to its research potential. Even a temporary evacuation of the station is bound to have significant scientific and political damage, observers say.

Internal documents obtained by MSNBC describe a "top-level assessment" delivered to officials at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on Nov. 22. Russian Space Agency representative Mikhail Shutikov told NASA that his side is examining evacuating the station, technically called "demanning," in early June 2003.

"Preparations should begin now" just in case the evacuation becomes necessary due to Russia's funding shortfall, the four-week NASA study concluded. It specified critical follow-on assessments to be performed in coming weeks.

Publicly, NASA said again Tuesday that it expects the Russians "will meet their commitments under the International Space Station Agreements." However, they are seeking reassurances. NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown said the space agency has asked Russia for "an update on the status of vehicle production and its ability to meet ISS commitments in 2003." Brown said NASA expects to receive a response in the near future."

News source: Slashdot

View: Article @ MSNBC

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