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Space Station: Update on the Impact of the Expanded Russian Role (Letter
Report, 07/29/94, GAO/NSIAD-94-248).
Contrary to claims that Russian participation in the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) proposed international
space station would save $2 billion, GAO's analysis shows that there are
no net savings from Russian participation that could be used to fund
other areas of the program and accelerate the space station schedule.
The $2 billion in savings would be largely offset by (1) at least $1.4
billion in program changes to accommodate the Russians and (2) $400
million in funding requirements arising from lower than anticipated
contributions of Russian hardware.  NASA still believes that it can meet
its assembly schedule and $17.4 billion funding target. However, NASA
will have to find substantial savings from other sources to offset the
Russian-related funding increases and accelerate the schedule. NASA
recently identified additional shuttle improvements that will be needed
as a result of Russian participation, which could further boost space
station funding requirements.
--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------
 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-94-248
     TITLE:  Space Station: Update on the Impact of the Expanded Russian 
             Role
      DATE:  07/29/94
   SUBJECT:  Aerospace research
             Space exploration
             Research and development costs
             Cost analysis
             Future budget projections
             International cooperation
             Aerospace engineering
             Offsetting collections
             Cost control
IDENTIFIER:  Mir Space Station
             NASA International Space Station Alpha Program
             NASA Space Station Program
             Russia
             FGB Energy Block Spacecraft
             NASA Alpha Program
             Soyuz Spacecraft
             NASA Space Shuttle Program
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Cover
================================================================ COVER
Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Oversight of
Government Management, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
Senate
July 1994
SPACE STATION - UPDATE ON THE
IMPACT OF THE EXPANDED RUSSIAN
ROLE
GAO/NSIAD-94-248
Space Station
Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV
  ISSA - International Space Station Alpha
  NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  NRC - National Research Council
Letter
=============================================================== LETTER
B-257996
July 29, 1994
The Honorable William S.  Cohen
Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on
 Oversight of Government Management,
Committee on Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
Dear Senator Cohen: 
In response to your request, we examined the impact of Russian
participation in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's
(NASA) space station program.  On June 21, 1994, we provided you with
an interim report on whether expanded Russian participation will (1)
reduce space station funding requirements by $2 billion, as estimated
by NASA and (2) improve the station's capabilities for conducting
research.\1 As requested, we have updated the information in our June
1994 report on the funding impacts of Russian participation.  The
information in our June report on the research impact is included as
appendix I. 
--------------------
\1 Space Station:  Impact of the Expanded Russian Role on Funding and
Research (GAO/NSIAD-94-220, June 21, 1994). 
   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1
In March 1993, the President directed NASA to redesign Space Station
Freedom.  The President also directed NASA to consider using Russian
space assets and bringing Russia into the international space station
partnership that already included Europe, Japan, and Canada.  The
space station configuration developed by NASA during the summer of
the 1993 redesign process was called Alpha and included hardware to
be purchased from Russia.  The major Russian hardware included the
FGB energy block spacecraft (also referred to as a space tug) for
propulsion, guidance, navigation, and control; Soyuz capsules for
assured crew return vehicles or "lifeboats"; and systems for docking
the shuttle to the station. 
Under the Alpha program, the first piece of station hardware was
scheduled to be launched on the space shuttle in September 1998, with
completion of assembly in September 2003.  In September 1993, NASA
estimated that, under a $2.1-billion annual funding cap imposed by
the administration, the Alpha design would require $19.4 billion in
funding for fiscal years 1994 through 2003.\2
On September 2, 1993, the United States and Russia agreed to expand
cooperation in human space flight.  By November 1, 1993, NASA and the
Russian Space Agency formally agreed on a three-phase plan to bring
Russia into the space station program as a full partner.  Phase I
activities involve up to 10 shuttle flights to Russia's existing Mir
space station and up to 24 months of astronaut crew time on Mir
between 1995 and 1997.  The shuttle flights and astronaut time are
intended to help develop techniques for assembly, operation, and
utilization of the planned space station in such areas as command and
control, flight operations, logistics support and resupply,
extravehicular activity, rendezvous, proximity operations, and
docking.  Phase II activities would combine U.S.  and Russian
hardware to create the crew-tended capability of the space station. 
Phase III would build on Phase II and complete the international
space station with additional U.S., Russian, European, Japanese, and
Canadian elements. 
The new space station configuration was renamed the International
Space Station Alpha (ISSA).  NASA stated that, compared with the
Alpha program, the ISSA program with expanded Russian involvement
  increases total crew size from four to six;
  accelerates the first shuttle assembly flight to December 1997 and
     completion of assembly to June 2002;
  enables earlier research opportunities, beginning with the existing
     Mir space station;
  increases resources available to support research, such as crew
     time, electrical power, and pressurized volume;
  enables dual access to the station for human space flight and
     logistics;
  reduces some U.S.  hardware requirements and enhances system
     robustness; and
  reduces funding requirements by $2 billion (from $19.4 billion to
     $17.4 billion) through the completion of space station assembly. 
According to space station officials, $1.6 billion of the $2-billion
net savings would be achieved by completing assembly 15 months
earlier--funding for operations and utilization between July 2002 and
September 2003 would no longer be counted in total funding to
complete assembly.  In order to achieve this earlier schedule, NASA
would need to fund the development program at an accelerated rate. 
However, because station funding is limited to $2.1 billion a year,
any increased funding needed to accelerate the program would have to
be offset by reduced funding or savings in other areas.  According to
space station program officials, anticipated savings that would
enable NASA to fund the program at an accelerated rate would come
primarily from Russian contributions of hardware. 
--------------------
\2 NASA estimated that funding for fiscal year 1993 and prior years
totaled about $10.3 billion, excluding civil service costs.  All
funding levels stated in this report are expressed in current
dollars.  Unless stated otherwise, all projected increases or
reductions in funding requirements are based on NASA-provided
estimates.  In some cases, funding amounts in this report differ from
those in our previous report because of updated information and
changes in requirements. 
   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2
Our analysis shows that there are no net savings from Russian
participation that could be used to fund other areas of the program
and accelerate the schedule.  To the contrary, due to lower than
anticipated contributions of Russian hardware, Russian participation
would add a net $0.4 billion in funding requirements to the space
station program.  NASA still believes that it can meet its assembly
schedule and $17.4 billion funding target.  However, NASA will have
to find substantial savings from other sources to offset the
Russian-related funding increases and accelerate the schedule.  NASA
is in the process of identifying these other savings. 
Russian participation would also increase funding requirements for
other NASA programs that support the space station by at least an
estimated $1.4 billion.  The estimated increases are to fund a
contract with the Russian Space Agency for space station-related
activities, improvements in the shuttle's ability to support space
station assembly, and two additional shuttle flights to assemble
ISSA.  These increased requirements, which are funded in other parts
of NASA's budget, would largely offset the $2 billion reduction NASA
is currently pursuing in the space station program.  NASA recently
identified additional shuttle improvements that will be needed as a
result of Russian participation, which could further increase space
station-related funding requirements. 
   RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION WOULD
   LIKELY INCREASE SPACE STATION
   PROGRAM FUNDING REQUIREMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3
Russian participation will reduce funding requirements in some areas
of the station program and increase them in other areas.  Since our
June 1994 report, revised estimates of Russian contributions have
eliminated some of the reductions that NASA originally anticipated. 
With these changes in contributions, our analysis indicates that
Russian participation would likely result in a net increase of $0.4
billion in direct station funding requirements.  Therefore, Russian
participation will not provide any savings that could be used to
accelerate the program schedule.  NASA still believes that it can
accomplish the ISSA program for $2 billion less than the Alpha
program by pursuing savings from sources other than Russian
participation.  Table 1 presents only those funding reductions and
additions within the space station program that we believe should be
attributed to Russian participation.  Amounts in the table reflect
estimates that have been revised since our June report. 
                           Table 1
           Impact of Russian Participation on Space
             Station Program Funding Requirements
               (Current dollars in billions\a)
Funding requirement                         Estimated impact
----------------------------------------  ------------------
Reduced
------------------------------------------------------------
FGB energy block                                       $-0.3
Other                                                   -0.2
============================================================
Subtotal                                                -0.5
Added
------------------------------------------------------------
Shuttle-Mir support                                      0.2
Mir flight demonstrations                                0.1
Solar cells/control moment gyros                         0.1
Increased operations capability                          0.2
Fourth solar array                                       0.1
Russian integration activities                           0.1
Other                                                    0.1
============================================================
Subtotal                                                 0.9
============================================================
Net inpact                                              $0.4
------------------------------------------------------------
\a Amounts rounded to nearest $100 million. 
Russian participation would likely reduce funding requirements in
some areas by about $0.5 billion.  The United States was responsible
for providing the FGB energy block under both the Alpha and ISSA
programs.  However, the estimated funding for acquiring the FGB
energy block from the Russians under ISSA has been reduced by $0.3
billion (from $0.6 billion under Alpha) because of changes in the
space station configuration.  The exact amount of the FGB procurement
is still to be negotiated.  NASA hopes to have the negotiations
completed by October 1994.  According to a space station program
official, the $0.2-billion estimate for other reductions includes
requirements that were eliminated for propellant resupply and orbital
replacement units.  NASA is negotiating with the Russians to resupply
the propellant needed to reboost and maneuver the space station. 
Configuration changes due to Russian involvement have reduced the
number of items that NASA will have to maintain and replace on orbit
once the station is operational. 
Russian participation would likely add $0.9 billion in funding
requirements to the space station program.  The estimates in table 1
for shuttle-Mir support, Mir flight demonstrations, and part of the
solar cells/control moment gyros estimate are related to the 10
shuttle flights to the Russian Mir space station during Phase I.  The
estimates for increased operations capability, fourth solar array,
Russian integration activities, and the rest of the solar
cells/control moment gyros estimate include additional funding for
Russian involvement in Phases II and III of the ISSA program. 
According to a space station program official, the $0.1-billion
estimate under the other category was primarily to fund activities
that would be needed in the event that Russian participation falls
through. 
      NASA WILL NOT ACHIEVE SOME
      PREVIOUSLY ANTICIPATED
      REDUCTIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1
Some of the reductions that NASA originally anticipated from Russian
participation will not be achieved.  In particular, NASA had
estimated a $0.5-billion reduction because it expected Russia to
provide the Soyuz vehicles that NASA would have bought from Russia
under the Alpha program.  These vehicles were to serve as assured
crew return vehicles.  The Russians have agreed to provide the Soyuz
as the crew return vehicle only through completion of station
assembly.  NASA will still be responsible for providing a crew return
vehicle to be available when the station's assembly is complete. 
NASA is considering several options for a crew return vehicle and has
not yet estimated the funding requirements for this element. 
One of the other reductions that NASA had anticipated was an
estimated $0.1 billion for high pressure gas resupply and carriers. 
NASA assumed that the Russians would supply all the oxygen and
nitrogen for the station.  Recently, the Russians have agreed to only
supply gases for the space station modules.  Consequently, NASA will
still have to fund the resupply of gases and carriers for experiments
in the U.S., European, and Japanese laboratory modules. 
      NASA IS PURSUING FUNDING
      REDUCTIONS THAT ARE NOT
      RELATED TO RUSSIAN
      PARTICIPATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.2
NASA is still attempting to reduce station funding requirements by
$2 billion and continues to plan for the first shuttle assembly
flight in December 1997 and completion of assembly in June 2002.  To
achieve its funding target of $17.4 billion, NASA is considering
funding reductions in areas largely unrelated to Russian
participation.  For example, NASA's Office of Life and Microgravity
Sciences and Applications is attempting to reduce its space station
payloads and utilization budget for fiscal years 1995-99.  The office
is negotiating additional facility contributions from other
international partners and is considering developing some research
facilities in-house.  In addition, a cost-reduction team convened by
the space station program office has identified several hundred
million dollars in potential funding reductions that involve deleting
hardware and deleting or reducing testing of space station
components.  Most of these reductions are not specifically related to
Russian participation. 
   RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION WOULD
   LIKELY INCREASE STATION-
   RELATED FUNDING REQUIREMENTS BY
   AT LEAST $1.4 BILLION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4
The estimated $1.4 billion increase in space station-related funding
includes (1) $400 million for a contract between NASA and the Russian
Space Agency, (2) $44 million to outfit a second orbiter and increase
the number of shuttle flights to Russia's existing Mir space station
from 6 to 10, (3) $185 million or more for some performance
enhancements needed in the shuttle to support station assembly with
the Russians in a different orbit, (4) $746 million for 2 additional
shuttle flights needed to support the current assembly schedule, and
(5) $10 million to $20 million for increasing the probability of
launching the shuttle within a smaller launch window due to the
change in orbit.  NASA officials disagreed that these funding
requirements should be included in evaluating the total estimate for
space station or the impact of Russian participation. 
      NASA HAS FINALIZED THE $400
      MILLION CONTRACT WITH THE
      RUSSIAN SPACE AGENCY
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.1
Tasks included in NASA's contract with the Russian Space Agency are
related to the space station and should be included as additional
funding requirements related to Russian participation.  On June 21,
1994, NASA finalized a contract that calls for payment of $400
million to the Russian Space Agency for Phase I and Phase II
activities of the space station program. 
  Phase I activities will require an estimated $335 million in
     funding.  These activities will include extending the life and
     expanding the capabilities of Mir to conduct science research,
     technology validations, and systems validations.  According to
     the contract, the science and engineering research program under
     this contract is critical for the success of future efforts on
     ISSA and is a test bed for research activities to be carried out
     in Phases II and III.  The technology demonstrations and systems
     validation program are intended to use Mir as an ISSA test bed
     to ensure successful ISSA operation by implementing a risk
     mitigation program.  This will include (1) demonstrating and
     testing components and systems, interfaces, and integrated
     operations and (2) validating equipment designs and operations
     and verifying models to be used in the ISSA program. 
  Phase II activities will require an estimated $65 million in
     funding.  These activities include management and technical
     integration, launch package elements definition and
     modification, joint Russian Space Agency/NASA systems studies
     and development, and joint operations planning.  Management and
     integration will include testing, safety, reliability, and
     quality assurance activities for Russian space station elements. 
     Launch package definition and modification will include
     definition and preliminary design of the Russian FGB energy
     block, service module, and science power platform.  Joint
     Russian/NASA developments include systems for joint
     extravehicular activity; an airlock; solar dynamic
     demonstration; life support; habitation; and guidance,
     navigation, control, and propulsion.  Joint operations planning
     involves developing plans, documentation, and training for
     operating ISSA. 
      FLYING 10 SHUTTLE MISSIONS
      TO MIR WOULD LIKELY INCREASE
      FUNDING REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.2
In November 1993, NASA and the Russian Space Agency agreed to conduct
up to 10 shuttle flights to the Russian Mir space station.  However,
the current ISSA estimate includes funding for only six flights to
Mir.  This funding is needed to modify an orbiter to allow it to dock
to Mir, and for shuttle and payload integration and mission support
operations.  Increasing the number of flights to 10 would require
that a second orbiter be modified and would increase the funding
needed for related shuttle and payload support.  The total increase
in funding needs associated with expanding the number of flights to
Mir would likely be about $44 million, according to a preliminary
NASA estimate. 
One orbiter has already been modified as part of an October 1992
agreement between the United States and Russia for one shuttle-Mir
docking mission to exchange an astronaut and cosmonaut.  This
agreement predates the current Russian involvement, and the
modification of this orbiter was approved prior to the increased
Russian role. 
According to NASA officials, the 10 shuttle flights to Mir are
important risk reduction activities for building ISSA.  The time
required to prepare an orbiter for its next flight limits it to
flying about two missions a year.  As a result, flying 10 missions to
Mir over a 3-year period requires that a second orbiter be modified
to allow it to dock to Mir, with funding estimated at $23 million.\3
The additional funding required for the shuttle and payload mission
integration and support associated with the increased number of
flights is about $21 million. 
--------------------
\3 NASA estimates that total funding of $73 million is needed to
modify the second orbiter, including about $50 million for an airlock
that would also be needed for the shuttle to dock with ISSA.  Funding
for this airlock is already included in the ISSA funding estimate. 
      FUNDING REQUIREMENTS FOR
      SHUTTLE PERFORMANCE
      ENHANCEMENTS COULD EXCEED
      INITIAL $185 MILLION
      ESTIMATE
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.3
To take advantage of Russia's launch capabilities, the space
station's orbital inclination will be increased from 28.8 degrees
planned under Alpha to 51.6 degrees.  The change in inclination
reduced the shuttle's payload lift capability by about 13,000 pounds. 
Since approving a plan in March 1994 to regain the lost lift
capability, NASA has determined that additional lift may be needed to
satisfy space station requirements.  Achieving the additional lift
could result in significant additional funding requirements. 
A November 18, 1993, memorandum from the space station program
manager to the associate administrator for space flight requested the
space shuttle program to implement modifications to provide
performance enhancements.  According to the memorandum, "The
increased lift capability is critical in order to support Space
Station assembly and maintenance operations at an inclination of
51.6." In response to the space station program office's request,
the shuttle program office developed a plan to improve shuttle lift
capability by about 13,000 pounds on every station flight, with
additional lift enhancements on specific flights.  After the plan was
developed, the shuttle program office determined that the shuttle
would need an additional 1,100 pounds of lift gain beyond the 13,000
pounds already identified.  The preliminary estimated total funding
required for all the enhancements needed is $535 million, of which
about $350 million is for the super lightweight fuel tank.  Since
this tank was planned under the Alpha program, only the remaining
$185 million relates to increased Russian participation.  A shuttle
program official said that these other enhancements are being
undertaken in order to support assembly of the station at the higher
inclination. 
During a shuttle program meeting on June 30, 1994, NASA identified
(1) additional weight requirements to launch the shuttle to the
higher orbital inclination and (2) potential reductions in the lift
originally anticipated from the approved shuttle enhancements.  The
agency underestimated the orbiter performance requirements to support
the space station and determined that about another 1,200 pounds of
lift would be required.  To achieve the required additional lift, the
shuttle program office is considering a list of potential
enhancements in addition to those already approved.  According to
shuttle program officials, NASA does not have firm funding estimates
for all of the potential additional enhancements.  NASA officials
stated that they would try to implement several enhancements
requiring the least funding, which together could provide the
necessary lift.  If these enhancements cannot be implemented, NASA
may have to resort to using one of several more expensive
enhancements, each of which could provide the lift needed.  One of
the more expensive enhancements includes use of disposable solid
rocket boosters on two or more flights.  Current estimates indicate
that the funding associated with replacing hardware for two missions
using disposable boosters would be about $150 million. 
Also, potential problems with a number of approved enhancements,
including the super lightweight tank, could result in reduced lift
gain.  Shuttle program officials told us that they believe the
problems can be mitigated, but the full impact, if any, will not be
known until October 1994, after the problems will have been
thoroughly studied.  If NASA is unable to correct or offset the
potential lift reductions in approved enhancements, additional
enhancements may be required. 
      REVISED ASSEMBLY PLAN STILL
      REQUIRES TWO ADDITIONAL
      SHUTTLE FLIGHTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.4
At the start of the redesign process, a March 9, 1993, memorandum
from the NASA Administrator stated that a primary objective of
redesigning the space station was to greatly reduce the number of
shuttle launches required for deployment.  In June 1994, we reported
that the ISSA assembly sequence would require 21 shuttle launches, 2
more than the Alpha assembly sequence.  NASA has revised the assembly
sequence since then, but the revised sequence still requires the two
additional shuttle flights, which would likely increase
station-related funding requirements by about $746 million. 
NASA approved a revised assembly sequence for ISSA on July 12, 1994,
that requires 20 shuttle launches.  One shuttle assembly flight was
eliminated because NASA officially included in the program baseline
the European Space Agency's plan to launch its laboratory module on
an expendable launch vehicle rather than on the shuttle.  The option
to launch this module on a European rocket was developed under the
Alpha program and was under consideration at that time.  If this
option had been accepted, it would have also reduced Alpha launches
by 1 flight, from 19 to 18, maintaining a difference of 2 assembly
flights between Alpha and ISSA. 
Our calculation of the funding associated with shuttle flights is
based on NASA's estimated average cost of $373 million a shuttle
flight in fiscal
year 1999.  NASA calculates the average cost per flight by dividing
the annual recurring funding required to support shuttle operations
by the planned number of flights for a given year.  Space station
officials disagreed that the additional flights should be valued at
an average cost of $373 million each.  NASA values shuttle flights at
about $40 million a flight--the marginal cost for fuel and other
expendable items.  In prior reports, we have stated that the average
cost per shuttle flight should be allocated to the space station
program during the period when the shuttle system will be used
predominately for the station's launch, assembly, and use.\4
--------------------
\4 Space Transportation:  The Content and Uses of Shuttle Cost
Estimates (GAO/NSIAD-93-115,
Jan.  28, 1993) and Space Station:  Program Instability and Cost
Growth Continue Pending Redesign (GAO/NSIAD-93-187, May 18, 1993). 
      SHUTTLE LAUNCH PROBABILITY
      IMPROVEMENTS COULD ALSO
      INCREASE FUNDING
      REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.5
The change to a higher inclination orbit for ISSA also reduces the
shuttle's window of opportunity to launch from 50 minutes to 5
minutes on a given day.  NASA's preliminary estimate of the total
funding needed to implement a strategy for increasing the probability
of launching in the narrower window is $10 million to $20 million,
with many improvements requiring little or no funding. 
The strategy that NASA is considering includes changing some
weather-related constraints established in the event the shuttle has
to return to the launch site after an abort, adding a day in which
the shuttle could rendezvous with the space station, and building in
an additional hold early in the launch countdown to address potential
problems that may arise.  If all the identified improvements can be
implemented, NASA estimates that the probability of launch in the
5-minute window can be raised to the same probability of launch as in
a 50-minute window. 
   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5
We conducted our review at NASA headquarters, Johnson Space Center,
Kennedy Space Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center.  We compared
the Alpha program (as documented in the September 1993 Program
Implementation Plan) with the current ISSA program.  We
  interviewed NASA officials and reviewed pertinent documents from
     the space station program, space shuttle program, and science
     offices; super lightweight tank, main engine, solid rocket
     motor, and orbiter vehicle projects; and mission operations and
     flight crew operations directorates;
  attended various NASA reviews on the design of the space station,
     including the Systems Requirements Review and the Systems Design
     Review;
  attended meetings and reviewed reports of committees advising NASA
     on space station design and utilization issues, including the
     Advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station; Space
     Station Science and Applications Advisory Subcommittee; National
     Research Council (NRC) Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board,
     Committee on Space Station; NRC Space Studies Board, Committee
     on Space Biology and Medicine; NRC Space Studies Board,
     Committee on Microgravity Research; Space Station Advisory
     Committee; and Aerospace Medicine Advisory Committee; and
  analyzed and compared budget data for the Alpha and ISSA programs. 
The foreign policy issues related to the Russian participation were
not within the scope of our work.  Further, we did not assess the
risk to the space station program should Russian participation be
terminated for any reason. 
We performed our work between August 1993 and July 1994 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards.  As requested,
we did not obtain agency comments on this report.  However, on
several occasions, we discussed our findings with NASA personnel,
including officials of the space station, space shuttle, and science
offices, and included their comments as appropriate in this report. 
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1
Unless you publicly announce the contents of this report earlier, we
plan no further distribution of it until 10 days from its issue date. 
At that time, we will send copies of it to the NASA Administrator;
the Director, Office of Management and Budget; appropriate
congressional committees; and other interested parties upon request. 
If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, I can
be reached at (202) 512-8412.  Major contributors to this report are
listed in appendix II. 
Sincerely yours,
Donna M.  Heivilin
Director, Defense Management
 and NASA Issues
IMPACT OF THE EXPANDED RUSSIAN
ROLE ON RESEARCH
=========================================================== Appendix I
Information on the impact of Russian participation on research to be
conducted on the space station has not changed significantly since
our June report.  The material from that report is presented here
unchanged. 
   RESEARCH POTENTIAL COULD BE
   ENHANCED, BUT SPECIFIC BENEFITS
   HAVE NOT YET BEEN FULLY
   DETERMINED
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1
Increased Russian participation in the space station should provide
more resources critical to research productivity, earlier research
opportunities, and better access to the Russian research community. 
However, because specific allocations of the station resources must
still be negotiated, it is not yet clear to what degree the U.S. 
research community will benefit.  In addition, committees that advise
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on space
station research have not yet had an opportunity to review the
details of increased Russian involvement and assess its impact on
research planned for the station. 
      SPACE STATION'S OVERALL
      RESEARCH POTENTIAL IS
      ENHANCED
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.1
Crew time has long been identified as the constraining factor for
research productivity on the space station.  The addition of two crew
members, which would be made possible by adding the Russian service
module, would be an important benefit to the research community. 
With only four crew members on the Alpha station, crew time for
experiments would have been limited to two dedicated crew members;
the other two would have had to operate and maintain the space
station.  With a crew of six aboard the International Space Station
Alpha (ISSA), NASA believes four crew members could be dedicated to
research.  The additional crew members would also increase the pool
of subjects for life sciences research on the effects of
long-duration space flight. 
Electrical power is another important resource that would increase
under the ISSA design.  Total annual average power on the station has
increased from 69 kilowatts (kw) to 110 kw, with an increase to users
from 42 kw to 73 kw.  The increase in total power was achieved by
adding a fourth solar array supplied by the United States, with the
remainder coming from Russian solar arrays.  Although power increased
substantially at assembly complete, the power levels to users
actually decreased during assembly.  The Alpha design provided
average power of about 13 kw to users during assembly.  ISSA,
however, only provides 8 kw or less during much of the initial
research operations.  NASA is studying ways to increase power to
users during initial ISSA operations. 
Russian participation could also provide research opportunities
earlier than the Alpha program would have.  First, the shuttle
flights to Mir and astronaut stay-time aboard Mir during Phase I
offer opportunities to conduct long-duration experiments 4 years
earlier than under the Alpha program.  The Mir missions can also
serve as science risk reduction activities by allowing NASA to test
and evaluate experimental facilities and procedures.  Second, the
ISSA station is scheduled to reach initial research capability 11
months earlier and assembly complete 15 months earlier.  Third, under
ISSA, crew will stay aboard the station after the shuttle departs
starting in 1998 rather than 2003.  While this is intended mainly for
assembly purposes, NASA anticipates that the crew would also be
available to conduct experiments between assembly activities. 
NASA officials believe that increased Russian participation will
result in better access to Russian researchers and research data. 
Although U.S.  and Russian researchers have been sharing data for
many years, space station cooperation will open the door to much
wider and deeper access to the Russian research community, including
areas of expertise that would be valuable to U.S.  researchers such
as space medicine, plant biology, and computational physics. 
Other potential benefits include an increase in the volume of
pressurized areas of the station, which provide a "shirt sleeve"
environment for conducting experiments, as well as for storage and
logistics to support research.  The total pressurized volume aboard
ISSA--1,202 cubic meters--would be about 50 percent greater than that
on Alpha.  In addition, the change to a higher inclination would also
allow remote sensing of more of the Earth's surface and far more of
its land mass.  At this point, however, only one U.S.  remote sensing
payload has been identified as a candidate for the space station. 
      ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES MUST
      STILL BE NEGOTIATED
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.2
The allocation of resources such as crew time, power, and payload
rack space is based on a formula agreed to by the international
partners in memorandums of understanding under the intergovernmental
agreement governing the space station.  In allocating resources, the
agreement takes into consideration research facilities and common
infrastructure provided by each partner.  For example, under Alpha,
the United States, Europe, and Japan each were providing a laboratory
module.  Because the United States was contributing the
infrastructure, such as the habitation module, truss structure,
propulsion and guidance systems, and electrical power systems, the
agreement allocated a fixed percentage of the laboratory space in the
European and Japanese modules to the United States.  Under ISSA, the
agreement must now consider the Russian contribution in terms of both
laboratory space as well as common infrastructure, such as the
service module to house the additional crew members. 
NASA believes that the United States and current international
partners will gain additional research resources as a result of
Russian participation.  However, until the intergovernmental
agreement and memorandums of understanding are renegotiated, it will
not be clear how much more, if any, of each resource will be
allocated to the United States.  For example, although total user
power would increase by 31 kw under ISSA, NASA had estimated that 27
kw of that would be allocated to Russia, with the total power
allocated to U.S.  and other international partner users increasing
by 4 kw.  NASA officials expect negotiations on the agreement and the
memorandums of understanding to be completed by the end of this year. 
      ADVISORY COMMITTEES STILL
      NEED TO FULLY ASSESS IMPACT
      OF RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.3
Several committees with members from outside of NASA have been
established to review NASA's plans for supporting space-based
research.  These groups represent some of the potential users and
provide important advice to NASA on the space station's design and
use from the researcher's perspective.  When one of these committees,
the Space Station Science and Applications Advisory Subcommittee, met
in February, NASA officials were not able to provide sufficient
details about increased Russian participation for the group to fully
assess the impact on research utilization.  The committee's
subsequent report stated that the group was encouraged by the
research potential added by Russian space assets, but was concerned
that the specifics of the Russian partnership were not presented. 
The committee requested that NASA more fully present details at its
next meeting.  This committee, and several others, are scheduled to
meet in June and July, after which they should be in a better
position to assess the impact of Russian participation on planned
research. 
MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix II
   NATIONAL SECURITY AND
   INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
   WASHINGTON, D.C. 
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:1
David Warren
Frank Degnan
Richard Eiserman
   ATLANTA OFFICE
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:2
Lee Edwards
John Gilchrist
Wendy Smythe
   DALLAS OFFICE
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:3
Vijay Barnabas
Elaine Coleman



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