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ISS cost overruns may halt station assembly
Posted: Sat, Feb 17, 2001, 12:35 PM ET (1735 GMT)
illustration of shuttle approaching ISS Cost overruns approaching $4 billion on the American component of the International Space Station could force NASA to end assembly of the orbiting facility far sooner than planned or cut funding from other agency projects. News of the overrun -- blamed on American and Russian component delays, increasing workforce requirements, and technical glitches -- was first published Thursday by Aerospace Daily and sister publication AviationNow. They reported that the Bush Administration has made it clear to NASA that the space agency will have to cover any cost overruns. This could mean cuts in the budgets at NASA's field centers and possibly other agency programs, according to Florida Today. It might also mean NASA would use "offramps" in the existing assembly sequence to end station construction sooner than currently planned. A worst-case, albeit unlikely, scenario would involve ending assembly later this year after an airlock is added to the station. Congress is expected to sound off on the matter in the form of hearings later this year: Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has oversight over NASA, told Florida Today he was "very concerned" about the overruns.
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