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FY 2002 Spaceflight Enterprise White Paper

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, April 9, 2001

Office of Space Flight (Code M)
Associate Administrator: Joseph Rothenberg

Public Affairs Contacts:
Dave Drachlis, (202) 358-2181
Kirsten Larson, (202) 358-0243

The total Fiscal Year 2002 Appropriations budget request for the Office of Space Flight is $7,248.2 million;this is comprised of $5,584.5 million of Human Space Flight appropriation funding,$482.2 million of formerly Science, Aeronautics,and Technology Appropriation funding and $1,181.5 million of formerly Mission Support Appropriation funding.

The International Space Station Program $2,087.4 Million

The goal of the International Space Station (ISS) is to support activities requiring the unique attributes of humans in space and to establish a permanent human presence in Earth orbit. It provides a long-duration habitable laboratory for science and research activities that allow investigation of the limits of human performance, vastly expand human experience in living and working in space, and encourage and enable commercial development of space.

The ISS will provide a capability to perform unique, long-duration, space-based research in cell and developmental biology, plant biology, human physiology, fluid physics, combustion science, materials science and fundamental physics. ISS will also provide a unique platform for making observations of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, the Sun and other astronomical objects. The experience and dramatic results obtained from the use of the ISS will guide the future direction of the Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise, one of NASA's key strategic areas. The International Space Station is key to NASA's ability to fulfill its mission to explore, use, and enable the development of space for human enterprise.

The ISS is funded at $2,087 million for FY 2002, which is virtually the same level as the budget for FY 2001. This is approximately $230 million more for FY 2002 and about $1 billion more over the FY 2002-2006 period than had been planned in the FY 2001 ISS budget. This increase is offset by redirection of funding that had been planned for Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) development and production in the Science, Aeronautics, and Technology appropriation.

This budget represents continued support for the ISS program, enabling the high priority goals of permanent human presence in space, world-class research in space, and accommodation of international partner (IP) elements. However, in response to a recent NASA projection of ISS cost growth of potentially as much as $4 billion for the FY 2002-2006 period, NASA is undertaking reforms to curtail cost growth and find savings. Because the cost to operate and utilize existing ISS elements and to continue the integration and launch of the three-year inventory of hardware already at KSC is basically committed, the strategy being used is to redirect funding from projects with significant development activity remaining. These projects include the Habitation Module, Propulsion Module and CRV, which are desirable but not required to achieve NASA's highest priority goals. The restoration of these projects will be contingent on the quality of NASA's future cost estimates, the resolution of technical issues, and the success of management reforms and other cost-control actions underway. Funding for U.S. research equipment and associated support will be realigned in accordance with the resulting on-orbit capabilities, but will maintain support for research considered most promising and crucial. Although a clear call to NASA for fiscal restraint, this budget nonetheless maintains a commitment to launch the hardware that NASA has already built and avoids disruptions to the assembly schedule until at least 2004.

In addition to the redirected funds, NASA has already initiated a comprehensive suite of specific management initiatives at the Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Stennis Space Center that are designed to curtail cost growth, not only of the ISS program but of all programs managed by NASA's Office of Space Flight. Although the exact magnitude of the impact cannot yet be determined, these initiatives will create savings, some in the near-term and others over a more gradual or phased timeframe. These actions focus on improving cost-estimating ability, improving management efficiencies, refocusing civil servants, and making maximum use of barter agreements with international partners.

Nature and Origin of Cost Challenge

Following the July 2000 Service Module launch, unexpectedly high, monthly program-spending rates prompted the ISS Program Manager to call for a new assessment of budgetary risks. NASA therefore conducted a "bottom up" review to better understand the rising costs and clarify the program baseline. This assessment indicated potential cost growth of approximately $4 billion for the FY 2002-2006 period and was reported to the Office of Management and Budget for purposes of establishing the FY 2002 budget. This assessment is based on conservative assumptions for operations, includes most known liens and threats, including a number of low-probability threats, and includes about $800 million in reserves.

First and foremost, the cost growth is driven by the unprecedented technical and management complexity of the ISS program. Approximately half of this growth originates from identified liens and threats, for which reserve levels had been assumed adequate. The remaining growth is due to newly identified risks, driven largely by a more mature understanding of operational and training requirements gleaned from the last two years of actual ISS operations experience.

Program Status and the Year Ahead

The past year has seen a tremendous surge of program activity as the International Space Station grew from the Unity and Zarya modules to become a permanently crewed and premier research laboratory in space. Since May 2000, NASA and its partners at the Russian Aviation and Space Agency executed 11 successful launches and dockings to the ISS, with a net schedule slip of only three weeks. Among the elements now on orbit are the Zvezda Service Module, Russia's keystone contribution, and the U.S. laboratory, Destiny, the most complex and capable piece of the ISS.

The Expedition One crew arrived at the ISS via a Soyuz spacecraft in November 2000. Over its four-month stay the crew had an extremely productive on-orbit tour, marked by the buildup of ISS capability and early research. The Expedition One crew handed over the keys to its successors, who arrived via the space shuttle on March 10. Today, the Expedition Two crew -- James Voss, Susan Helms, and Yury Usachev -- are in the early stages of their three-month tour aboard the ISS, preparing to employ the Human Research Facility and other equipment to begin 18 NASA experimental investigations. (What a difference a year makes!)

The Expedition Two flight carried Leonardo, the first Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), built by the Italian Space Agency, with equipment racks to outfit the U.S. Lab, and delivered the first research rack, HRF #1. The next flight, Flight 6A, to be launched with Shuttle Endeavor in April 2001, will carry Raffaello, the second MPLM, with six systems and two storage racks for the U.S. Lab. Also aboard will be the UHF antenna to provide space-to-space communications capability for U.S.-based spacewalks and the Canadian Canadarm II (station mechanical arm), required to perform assembly operations on later flights. Flight 7A, launched with Atlantis in June 2001, will deliver the Joint Airlock to provide station-based extravehicular capability for both U.S. and Russian spacesuits, and the High Pressure Gas Assembly to support space-walk operations and augment the Zvezda Service Module gas-resupply system. The addition of this hardware completes Phase II of the ISS, marking a degree of ISS self-sufficiency and capability without the presence of an orbiter.

Flight 7A.1 will use Shuttle Endeavor in July 2001 to ferry the third resident crew to the station. It will also carry an MPLM containing U.S. stowage racks and International Standard Payload Racks (ISPRs). The second U.S.-built space walkers' crane will be attached to the exterior of the station. UF-1, the first utilization flight aboard Atlantis in November will include an MPLM containing experiment and storage racks, and Photovoltaic (PV) Module Batteries.

For much of FY 2002 the station will be supplied with experiment and logistics racks, including the Science Power Platform and the first deployable cargo carrier. The major framework of the station will begin to take shape and the arrival of the next three rotating Expedition crews is planned. Beginning with Flight 8A in January 2002, the crew will install the Integrated Truss Structure "S0" and the Mobile Transporter. The S0 is the center segment of the 91- meter (300-foot) station truss and attaches to the U.S. Lab. The Mobile Transporter will create a movable base for the station's Canadian mechanical arm, allowing it to travel along the station truss after delivery of the Mobile Base System, or MBS. The launch of flight 4S will bring the Expedition Five crew aboard and marks the first return of a departing Expedition crew aboard a Soyuz. The second utilization flight, UF2 in February 2002, provides more experiment racks and three stowage and resupply racks. The Mobile Base System will complete the Canadian Mobile Servicing System, or MSS, once it is installed on the Mobile Transporter.

The first starboard truss segment, S1, arrives on Flight 9A in May 2002. It will house batteries, computers, radiators, antennas, and gyroscopes as part of the integrated truss structure. Flight 9A will also bring aboard cooling radiators, backup S-band communications, and the Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart that will enable EVA crew to move along the truss with their equipment. The Utilization and Logistics Flight (ULF1) is scheduled to launch in June 2002 and will mark the first flight of a deployable cargo carrier known as the External Stowage Platform (ESP2). ESP2 will be deployed from the space shuttle by the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (robotic arm) and will attach to the ISS air lock as a permanent spare-parts stowage facility. It will include a cargo pallet specially outfitted with release mechanisms, to permit Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) change-out, and cable systems to provide power directly from the ISS to individual payloads. The Expedition Six will also arrive on ULF1.

Research Restructuring -- Maximizing Science Return

Conducting world-class research in space continues to be a top priority for the ISS. The Expedition One crew initiated several U.S. research activities in the areas of Earth observations, education seed-growth experiments, biology crystal growth, technology motion and vibration experiments, and human-research data collection. With the delivery of the U.S. Laboratory Module, Destiny, in February the stage is set to begin significant levels of ISS research. Rack volume, power and crew time are now available to initiate scientific and commercial research. Lab outfitting began with the delivery of the Human Research Facility following the STS-102 launch on March 8, 2001, and two additional multipurpose racks will be delivered on the STS-100 mission, planned for launch April 19. Eighteen NASA experiments are scheduled to become operational during Expedition Two as NASA continues to maximize the research capability within the available resources.

II. Space Shuttle Program - $ 3,283.8 million

The Space Shuttle continues to be the most versatile launch vehicle ever built. The scope of its 102 missions has demonstrated this. Among the program's accomplishments are: rendezvous missions with the Russian Space Station Mir; advancement of life sciences and technology through long-duration Spacelab and Spacehab missions; and servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope, enabling discovery of new astronomical phenomena. The Space Shuttle has also performed rescue and retrieval of spacecraft, and is key to the assembly of the International Space Station. The Space Shuttle Program services numerous cooperative and reimbursable payloads involving foreign governments and international agencies. The current focus of international cooperation, for which the Space Shuttle is uniquely suited, is the assembly and operational support of the International Space Station (ISS), begun in FY 1999.

The primary goals of the Space Shuttle program in priority order are: (1) fly safely; (2) meet the flight manifest; (3) improve supportability; and (4) improve the system. Reduction in program costs is a continuing program objective made possible by accomplishment of these four goals.

In FY 2000, the Space Shuttle Program launched four flights including a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and the flight of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). The SRTM generated topographical maps of 80 percent of the Earth's land mass which are 30 times as precise as the best global maps in use today. The Space Shuttle Program also continued outfitting of the International Space Station with two logistics flights to the station. A maximum of seven flights is planned for FY 2001 and FY 2002. The budget supports an average of six flights per year with a surge capability to seven flights in FY 2003 and beyond.

The Space Shuttle budget structure consists of four major components: Flight Hardware ($2,067.2 million), Ground Operations ($604.1 million), Flight Operations ($271.0 million), and Program Integration ($341.5 million).

Included in the four categories are supportability upgrades to counteract possible vehicle and ground-system obsolescence, thereby maintaining the program's viability. Vendor loss of aging components, high failure rates of older components, high repair costs of Shuttle-specific devices, and negative environmental impacts of some outdated technologies are being addressed.

In addition, this budget request provides for additional safety upgrades that will improve reliability and ensure continued safe operations of the system. Examples include the Cockpit Avionics Upgrade, which will reduce crew workload and procedures during ascent, improvement in the Solid Rocket Booster Thrust Vector Control System to replace old technology, and advanced health monitoring of the Space Shuttle Main Engines. Other ongoing studies may yield additional safety improvements that could be implemented into the Shuttle fleet. The priorities of the upgrades will be determined by NASA with the assistance of an external, independent review panel. The complete installation of upgrades into the fleet is planned to be completed by 2007. The Space Flight Operations Contract performed by United Space Alliance continues to comprise almost one-half of the budget and will increase in size as more contracts are consolidated.

III. Payload and ELV Support - $91.3 million

The Payload and ELV Support budget consists of two major Programs -- Payload Carriers and Support, and Expendable Launch Vehicles Mission Support.

The Payload Carriers and Support budget supports the processing and flight of Space Shuttle payloads, including processing of unpresssurized carriers, Get-Away Special, Hitchhiker, and Flight Support System carriers. Funding supports the required technical expertise and facilities to perform the payload buildup, test and checkout, integration, servicing, transportation and installation of payloads into the Shuttle launch vehicle. In FY 2000, launch and landing payload support activities were provided for four Space Shuttle missions including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST-03A) launch, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) launch, and two logistics flights for the International Space Station (ISS). In FY 2001, launch and landing payload support activities will be provided for seven planned Space Shuttle missions, all of which are ISS assembly and utilization flights. In FY 2002, launch and landing payload support activities will be provided for seven Space Shuttle missions, including five ISS assembly and utilization flights, Hubble Space Telescope (HST-03B), and one Research Mission (STS-107).

The Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Mission Support budget provides funding for technical expertise and NASA-unique facilities to perform technical oversight and management for all NASA missions requiring flight on NASA-acquired launch services. Advanced mission design/analysis and leading-edge integration services are provided for the full range of NASA missions under consideration for launch on ELVs. During FY 2000, six successful launches were completed. Support for 12 missions is planned for FY 2001, including: (1) HETE-2 (launched in November 2000); (2) EO-1/SAC-C (launched in November 2000; (3) High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI); (4) 2001 Mars Odyssey; (5) Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (QuikTOMS); (6) Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED)/Jason; (7) Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP); (8) Genesis; (9) Goes-M; (10) Aqua; (11) ProSEDS; and (12) Kodiak Star (a joint DoD/NASA mission to be launched from Kodiak Island, AK. In FY 2002, eight missions and one secondary payload are planned to be launched.

Investments and Support - $129.5 million

The Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Technology and Commercialization Initiative advances several HEDS strategic goals and objectives including enabling the commercial development of space. Activities include (1) systems analysis, concepts and modeling; (2) enabling research and technology (R&T); and (3) technology flight demonstrations. In FY 2001 a competitive cooperative-agreement notice was released to solicit proposals, and it is anticipated that initial awards will be announced as early as May 2001.

A new Budget Line Item (BLI) was established in FY 2001 to ensure NASA's rocket-propulsion test capabilities are properly managed and maintained in world-class condition. The Rocket Test Support Program is a consolidation of ongoing activities to achieve a more effective test program.

The Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise (HEDS) institutional support budget address two primary goals of this enterprise. The first goal is to recruit, train and maintain a civil service workforce that reflects the cultural diversity of the Nation. This workforce and related infrastructure are sized and skilled consistently with accomplishing NASA's research, development and operational missions for the Enterprise with innovation, excellence and efficiency. The second goal is to ensure that the facilities critical to achieving HEDS Enterprise goals are constructed and maintained to function effectively, efficiently and safely, and that NASA installations conform to requirements and initiatives for the protection of the environment and human health.

The HEDS institutional support budget funds requirements for civil service salaries, other personnel and related costs, travel and the necessary support for all administrative functions, and other basic services in support of research and development activities at NASA installations.

In addition, the HEDS institutional-support budget line funds construction-of-facility requirements for discrete projects required for components of the basic infrastructure and institutional facilities, and almost all are for capital repair. NASA facilities are critical for the HEDS Enterprise, to sustaining the future of aeronautics and advanced space transportation, which both support military and private industry users. NASA has conducted a thorough review of its facilities infrastructure, and has found that the deteriorating plant condition warrants an increased repair and renovation rate to avoid hazards to personnel, facilities and mission, and that some dilapidated facilities need to be replaced. Increased investment in facility revitalization is needed to maintain a facility infrastructure that is safe and capable of supporting NASA's missions.

Engineering and technical base (ETB) budgets will continue to support the institutional capability in the operation of space flight laboratories, technical facilities and test-beds; to conduct independent safety and reliability assessments; and to stimulate science and technical competence in the United States. Also, funding to support additional academic program activities is provided in this budget.

IV. Space Operations Program: $482.2 million

The Space Communications program provides command, tracking and telemetry data services between ground facilities and flight mission vehicles. It also provides all the interconnecting telecommunications services to link together the following:

  • tracking and data-acquisition network facilities,
  • mission control facilities,
  • data capture and processing facilities,
  • industry and university research and laboratory facilities, and
  • investigating scientists.

The program provides scheduling, network management and engineering, pre-flight test and verification, and flight mission maneuver-planning and analysis. It also manages NASA's spectrum utilization issues and data standards coordination. The program goal is to provide space operations services responsive to customer missions at the lowest cost to the Agency. This is done by providing integrated solutions to operational communications and information-management needs common to all NASA strategic enterprises.

Mission and Data Services are required by a large number of NASA missions including planetary and interplanetary missions, human space flight missions, near-Earth and Earth-orbiting missions, research aircraft missions, and sub-orbital flights. These services are provided by NASA's Space Network, Deep Space Network, Ground Network, Integrated Services Network, and by Mission Control and Data Systems facilities. Beginning in FY 2002, the Space Operations program assumed all funding responsibility for the provision of data services. Mission services became the responsibility of the programs/projects requesting services. This allows for more effective management of these services while providing more flexibility to customers on choosing what services are provided.

The Space Operations Program budget structure consists of four components:

  • Operations ($258.9 million)
  • Mission and Data Services Upgrades ($62.4 million)
  • Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System Replenishment ($125.5 million)
  • Technology ($35.4 million).

The program is managed by the Space Operations Management Office (SOMO), located at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. An additional objective of SOMO is to encourage commercialization of NASA's operations services. Another is to participate with NASA's strategic enterprises in collaborative interagency, international and commercial initiatives. SOMO also invests in new technologies in pursuit of more cost-effective solutions, highly optimized designs of mission systems, and advancement of NASA's and the Nation's best technological and commercial interests.

The Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) was awarded to Lockheed Martin Space Operations and initiated on January 1, 1999, under the direction of the Space Operations Management Office. CSOC provides end-to-end space operations mission and data services to both NASA and non-NASA customers. CSOC is a $3.44 billion contract with a basic period of performance from January 1999 through December 2003 and an option period through December 2008. The contract is a Performance-Based, Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF) type. Nine contracts have been consolidated to date, with seven to be consolidated later. It is estimated that savings of approximately $900 million will be realized over the life of this contract.

In FY 2000, the TDRS-H spacecraft was launched successfully. On-orbit checkout of the spacecraft was conducted from July to September 2000. The spacecraft is working well with the exception of the Multiple Access (MA) Service, which is not performing to specifications. An investigation of the MA anomaly began in September 2000. The root cause of the anomaly has been determined and changes to the TDRS-I and -J spacecraft flight hardware will be implemented prior to their launch. NASA is evaluating its contract options relative to accepting or rejecting the TDRS-H spacecraft.

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