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ISS budget overruns increase, more cuts planned
Posted: Sat, Jun 30, 2001, 12:06 PM ET (1606 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) The budget overrun for NASA's portion of the International Space Station has increased by about $800 million, prompting a new round of cuts, space agency officials said Friday. The cost overrun, reported earlier this year to be $4 billion, will increase between $700 and 800 million because of added overhead costs, life support work, computer and other repairs, and added costs for Russian translators, according to Florida Today. The newspaper also said that costs could increase an additional $300-600 million if Russia or Brazil is forced to back out of the program because of poor economic conditions in those countries. Those cost increases, apparently known since May but only announced Friday, will force NASA to cut the station and human spaceflight programs again. SPACE.com reported that NASA is canceling plans for an orbital test flight of the X-38, a prototype of a crew return vehicle that NASA cancelled earlier this year. NASA is also ending work advanced technology required for future human missions to Mars as well as an initiative to promote commercial use of the station. A number of jobs would also be lost in this latest round of cuts, although NASA did not comment on a claim by Congressman Nick Lampson (D-TX) that 2,700 jobs will be lost. News of the latest ISS budget problems came on the same day Lampson and other politicians hosted a town meeting about the station and its budget problems in Houston.
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