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Report: current ISS plan "not credible"
Updated: Sat, Nov 3, 2001, 10:51 AM ET (1551 GMT)
Originally Posted: Fri, Nov 2, 2001, 4:04 PM ET (2104 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) A report by an independent commission has concluded that the current project plan for the International Space Station is "not credible" and in need of significant reforms. The report by the ISS Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force (IMCE), released Friday afternoon by NASA, criticized the project's management structure and cost accounting. The IMCE found that NASA's current cost estimate to complete the station, $8.3 billion, is not credible, and that the agency has focused too much on year-to-year budgeting rather than the true cost of the station. The report recommended that NASA focus exclusively on a "core complete" version of the station, which would lack a habitation module and crew return vehicle and could only support three people, for the next two years while it works to get program management under control. Only if that is successful should the agency consider enhancements such as an Italian-built hab module or the commercial Enterprise module. The IMCE report made additional recommendations, such as creating a new associate administrator position within NASA responsible for the ISS alone, and extending the length of station crew stays to six months and reducing the number of shuttle flights accordingly.
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