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ISS partners agree to station assembly schedule
Posted: Fri, Mar 3, 2006, 9:55 AM ET (1455 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) NASA and its international partners agreed Thursday to a revised International Space Station assembly schedule that commits NASA to the early launch of key European and Japanese components. The heads of the five space agencies involved with the ISS — NASA, ESA, CSA, JAXA, and Roskosmos — formally agreed to the revised ISS schedule in a meeting Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center. The schedule calls for 16 shuttle assembly flights before the fleet is required in 2010. The schedule moves up the launch of ESA's Columbus module to the seventh shuttle flight and JAXA's Kibo module to the ninth flight, slightly earlier than in original flight manifests. The manifest drops a number of logistical missions to the station by the shuttle, and the partners agreed to defer major research use of the station until after assembly is complete. Also dropped from the manifest is a Russian power module and Japanese centrifuge module; NASA agreed to provide power to the Russian segment of the station through 2015 as compensation.
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