Press Release

NASA’s Integrated Space Transportation Plan Released

By SpaceRef Editor
November 13, 2002
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Today, President George W. Bush submitted an
amendment to his fiscal year 2003 budget request to
accelerate implementation of a new Integrated Space
Transportation Plan (ISTP) for NASA. Driven by the
agency’s new vision and mission, the Administration
released details of a new, coordinated shift in three
of the agency’s important space flight programs.

A new Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP) is
designed to benefit the International Space Station,
Space Shuttle, and NASA’s science and research
objectives. The new ISTP dedicates more resources to
the Space Station program; provides additional funding
to extend the life and enhance the safety and
reliability of the agency’s orbiter fleet; boosts
funding for science-based payloads and research; and
restructures NASA’s Space Launch Initiative (SLI),
originally designed to identify next-generation
reusable launch vehicle technology.

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The new ISTP reflects important changes to NASA’s
five-year budget plan, but keeps costs within the
original 2003 fiscal budget.

“The Bush Administration is proposing a comprehensive,
strategic approach to link these critical programs to
space transportation objectives,” said NASA
Administrator Sean O’Keefe. “The new ISTP coordinates
our investments to enable science-driven exploration
and provides continued safe and reliable human access
to the International Space Station, ” he said.

A crucial component of the new ISTP is the development
of a crew transport vehicle. The concept of an Orbital
Space Plane reflects NASA’s need to ferry Space
Station crewmembers and to ensure that a capability
exists to get the crew home if there’s an emergency.
The concept will be the immediate objective of SLI’s
new research efforts.

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Administrator O’Keefe said the Orbital Space Plane is
beneficial on several levels. “It’s based on existing
technologies and therefore lowers risk and is more
affordable. It will replace the Space Shuttle as the
primary crew transport vehicle, freeing the orbiter
fleet to focus on heavy cargo delivery,” he said.

SLI would continue to identify future reusable launch
vehicle technology through a new Next Generation
Launch Technology program, investing money in
propulsion, structures and other key areas.

“NASA’s initial investment in the Space Launch
Initiative is what makes the new ISTP possible, and
SLI will continue to work to identify future
technologies that will eventually allow us to leave
low Earth orbit,” concluded Administrator O’Keefe.
“SLI provided us with the direction, and we feel this
new ISTP provides a tightly integrated, systematic
approach to address NASA’s future space transportation
needs,” he said.

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Details of the President’s budget amendment are
available on the Internet at:

NASA’s vision and mission statements are available on
the Internet at:

SpaceRef staff editor.