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NASA Statement on Inaccurate Reports About Japanese Cargo Services

Press Release From: Marshall Space Flight Center
Posted: Monday, July 21, 2008

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WASHINGTON -- Contrary to news reports, NASA has not officially or unofficially been discussing the purchase of H-II Transfer Vehicles (HTV) -- uninhabited resupply cargo ships for the space station -- from the Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA.

NASA is committed to domestic commercial cargo resupply to the space station and does not plan to procure cargo delivery services from Japan. As part of our original agreements as compensation for common system operating costs NASA has limited cargo capability on the Japanese and European cargo vehicles. NASA has recently issued a request for proposal for the cargo needs of International Space Station beyond those supplied by our current international agreements. NASA has chosen to depend on commercial resupply of cargo delivery to the station.

Related links

NASA eyes buying Japan's cargo spacecraft, Reuters

NASA eyes purchasing Japan's HTV spacecraft, Daily Yomiuri

"In April, NASA started a project to assist U.S. companies' development of a spacecraft to succeed the space shuttle. However, it is uncertain whether it will be possible for the successor vehicle to be developed in the two years left before the space shuttle is to be scrapped, prompting NASA to discuss buying foreign spacecraft. The U.S. Congress has a psychological resistance to buying Russian spacecraft, and the ATV's transport capacity is smaller than that of the HTV. NASA, therefore, is considering ordering HTVs."

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