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NASA and Italy announce ISS hab module agreement
Updated: Thu, Apr 19, 2001, 6:45 PM ET (2245 GMT)
Originally Posted: Thu, Apr 19, 2001, 10:50 AM ET (1450 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) NASA and its Italian counterpart, ASI, announced Thursday an agreement to begin a detailed study of a proposed Italian-built habitation module for the International Space Station. A signing ceremony featuring NASA administrator Dan Goldin and ASI president Sergio DeJulio took place at the Kennedy Space Center three hours before the launch of the shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-100. At a later briefing on the "Framework for Cooperation" that Goldin and DeJulio signed, Goldin and others said the agreement opens the doors for several months of technical negotiations on the hab module before a binding agreement is signed in this autumn. One proposal outlined by DeJulio at the briefing was a hab module based on the cargo carrier modules Italy has already built for the station that could host four to seven people. The cost of the module, and what portion of station crew and other resources Italy would receive for building the module, have yet to be considered. Italy had reportedly been interested in building a hab module for the space station since NASA announced plans to cut funding for its own hab module in the wake of ISS cost overruns; Goldin said at the briefing that discussions with ASI about the hab module had been ongoing for a few months.
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