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GAO report criticizes NASA for ISS resupply studies
Posted: Wed, Jun 1, 2005, 8:42 AM ET (1242 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) A report issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized NASA for alternatives for transporting supplies to the International Space Station. The report said that while NASA ruled out the use of commercial or other alternative vehicles for ISS resupply missions, that 2004 study was "insufficient" to conclude that the shuttle was the only vehicle capable of carrying supplies for the station. NASA has been studying off-and-on the concept of "alternative" or "assured" access to the station using commercially-developed and/or -operated cargo modules, and recently NASA officials have indicated that they are open again to using alternatives to the shuttle for ISS resupply. The issue of ISS supply has been exacerbated by the grounding of the shuttle, the primary vehicle for carrying ISS supplies, since the shuttle Columbia accident; NASA and the other ISS partners have relied exclusively on Russian Progress spacecraft to carry supplies since the accident.
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