ISS Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force Report: Preface, Members, Executive Summary

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2001

Report by the International Space Station (ISS) Management and Cost Evaluation (IMCE) Task Force to the NASA Advisory Council, November 1, 2001


A primary mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is

"To advance human exploration, use, and development of space."

We have developed this report upon this premise. The International Space Station (ISS) objectives require the establishment of a long-term human presence in space. A clear articulation of the mission of ISS within the broader context of the human exploration of space would greatly benefit the setting of research priorities for the station.

Although the configuration of the Space Station has been modified, the fundamental purposes remain scientific research and international cooperation. Specific objectives are:

  • To provide the means to sustain humans during extended space flight. This will require a primary research focus on discovering any adverse effects of long-term human presence in space.

  • Perform "world class" scientific research that requires low gravity and is enhanced by astronaut interaction.

  • Enhance international cooperation and U.S. leadership through international development and operations of ISS.

    A critical element required for the overall ISS Program is a commitment to a long-term plan for transporting astronauts to and from the ISS.

    We offer this report in response to the Terms of Reference (Appendix A) jointly established by NASA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). We believe the recommendations contained in this report will enhance the probability that a credible ISS core complete program can be established. We also believe a responsible plan is offered to move beyond core complete to a fully capable ISS if justified by NASA performance.

    The International Space Station Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force (IMCE) commends the many dedicated NASA, international partners, support teams, and contractor personnel who contributed to this report. While these individuals provided constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the content of the final report rests entirely with the IMCE. Further, the findings and recommendations in this report are those of the IMCE.


    A. Thomas Young, Chairman, North Potomac, MD
    RADM. Thomas Betterton, USN (Retired), Vice Chairman, Warrenton, VA
    Michael DeBakey, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX
    Robert Richardson, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
    Richard Roberts, New England Biolabs, Beverly, MA
    Rae Silver, Columbia University, New York, NY


    Andreas Acrivos, City College of the City University of New York, NY
    Kent Black, Pottsboro, TS
    Pete Bracken, Gaithersburg, MD
    Gregory Canavan, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
    Sidney Gutierrez, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
    Bradford Parkinson, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    Peter Wilhelm, Naval Center for Space Technology, Washington, DC
    Brig. Gen. Simon Worden, Headquarters, U.S. Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO


    Anthony DeMarco, PRICE Systems, L.L.C., Mount Laurel, NJ
    William Friend, Chairman, University of California President's Council on the National Laboratories, Washington, DC
    Susan Eisenhower, The Eisenhower Institute, Washington, DC
    Robert Grady, The Carlyle Group, San Francisco, CA
    ADM. Paul Reason, USN (Retired), Metro Machine Corporation, Norfolk, VA
    Roger Tetrault, Punta Gorda, FL


    In addition to the International Space Station Management and Cost Eva luation Task Force staff, the following NASA personnel assisted the committee, helped obtain the required materials, and coordinated briefings:

    Daniel Hedin, Executive Secretary, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
    Steven Schmidt, Executive Assistant, Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
    Nantel Suzuki, Executive Assistant, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
    Yvonne Kellogg, Technical Editor, Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA

    1.0 Executive Summary

    The International Space Station (ISS) Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force (IMCE) was chartered to conduct an independent external review and assessment of the ISS cost, budget, and management. In addition, the Task Force was asked to provide recommendations that could provide maximum benefit to the U.S. taxpayers and the International Partners within the President's budget request.

    The Task Force has made the following principal findings:

    • The ISS Program's technical achievements to date, as represented by on-orbit capability, are extraordinary.
    • The exis ting ISS Program Plan for executing the FY 02-06 budget is not credible.
    • The existing deficiencies in management structure, institutional culture, cost estimating, and program control must be acknowledged and corrected for the Program to move forward in a credible fashion.
    • Additional budget flexibility, from within the Office of Space Flight (OSF) must be provided for a credible core complete program.
    • The research support program is proceeding assuming the budget that was in place before the FY02 budget runout reduction of $1B.
    • There are opportunities to maximize research on the core station program with modest cost impact.
    • The U.S. Core Complete configuration (three-person crew) as an end-state will not achieve the unique research potential of the ISS.
    • The cost estimates for the U.S.-funded enhancement options (e.g., permanent
    7-person crew) are not sufficiently developed to assess credibility. The Task Force has the following primary recommendations: - Actions required to develop and implement a credible U.S. core complete program within the President's FY02 Budget Blueprint (Appendix B):
    • Major changes must be made in how the ISS program is managed
    • Additional cost reductions are required within the baseline program
    • Additional funds must be identified and applied from the Human Space Flight budget
    • A clearly defined program with a credible end - state, agreed to by all stakeholders, must be developed and implemented

    Actions required to maximize research within the President's FY02 Budget Blueprint:

    • Scientific research priorities must be established and an executable program, consistent with those priorities, must be developed and implemented
    • Additional crew time must be allocated to support the highest priority research
    • Science leadership must be established at the highest level within the ISS Program Office

    // end //

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