Status Report

(Human Space Flight) Senate Rpt.107-222 VA-HUD Appropriations Bill 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
July 25, 2002
Filed under , ,



  • Appropriations, 2002 – $6,830,100,000
  • Budget estimate, 2003 – 6,130,900,000
  • Committee recommendation – 6,130,900,000


NASA’s “Human Space Flight” account provides for human space flight
activities, and for safety, mission assurance and engineering activities
supporting the Agency. The HSF activities are centered around the
operation of the Space Shuttle as well as high priority investments to
improve the safety of the Space Shuttle and required construction
projects in direct support of the Space Station and Space Shuttle
programs. This appropriation also provides for: salaries and related
expenses (including travel); design, repair, rehabilitation, and
modification of facilities and construction of new facilities;
maintenance and operation of facilities; and other operations activities
supporting human space flight programs; and space operations, safety,
mission assurance and engineering activities that support the Agency.


The Committee has provided $6,130,900,000 for the Human Space Flight
account. This amount is the same amount as the President’s request for
these activities in fiscal year 2003.

Space Station .–The Committee has provided $1,492,100,000 for the
International Space Station (ISS), the same as the budget request. This
funding level will continue assembly missions through U.S. Core Complete
(Flight 10A), currently planned for calendar year 2004, and support
early research commensurate with the build-up of on-orbit utilization
In previous years, the Committee has criticized NASA’s management of
the ISS program. The lack of credible budget estimates, program
mismanagement and the absence of any credible oversight forced the
Committee to cut funding and impose cost caps on the program. Despite
these actions by Congress, NASA was unable to correct the underlying
problems associated with the program. In 2001, NASA announced that the
ISS would require an additional $4,800,000,000 over previous estimates
to complete the ISS, as planned.

As a result of these cost overruns, NASA and the Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) eliminated certain program elements to reduce cost and
provide additional time to re-scope the ISS with the international
partners. In addition, NASA created an independent assessment team known
as the ISS Management and Cost Evaluation (IMCE) Task Force to evaluate
program management. The Committee supports the recommendations of the
(IMCE) Task Force and the development of a Cost Analysis Requirements
Document (CARD) to support cost estimates of the U.S. Core Complete
baseline. Furthermore, the Committee notes the agency’s intention to
develop an integrated management action plan based on recommendations of
the IMCE Task Force. The Committee fully supports this approach in order
to provide the Congress with reliable cost estimates for the U.S. Core
Complete and beyond.

In addition, the Committee supports the recommendations of the
Research Maximization and Prioritization Task Force (REMAP) as it
pertains to ISS research. The Committee views the Task Force report as
the foundation upon which the OBPR sets ISS research priorities and its
organizational structure. The Committee notes that a final report on the
REMAP recommendations is to be provided by the NASA Advisory Council
during the third quarter of calendar year 2002. Given the importance of
the REMAP report to the future of the ISS and the agency’s overall
research agenda, the Committee directs the Administrator to report to
the Committees on Appropriations by December 1, 2001 on the
implementation of the REMAP recommendations in relation to the ISS as
well as the overall structure of the OBPR.

The Committee remains concerned about Russia’s continued policy of
selling time on the ISS for tourists, especially since the guiding
purpose for the construction of the ISS was to have a world class
microgravity research platform, a goal which is still far away. The
Committee urges NASA to strictly enforce the protocols developed in
cooperation with the international partners to ensure that any space
tourist is fully trained and physically capable of participating as a
crew member on the ISS.

Space Shuttle .–The Committee has provided $3,208,000,000 for the
Space Shuttle program, the same as the budget request. In fiscal year
2003, four Space Shuttle flights are planned in support of ISS. The
proposed budget also supports key Space Shuttle safety investments as
part of the Integrated Space Transportation Plan.

The Committee believes their is no higher priority than improving the
safety of the Shuttle orbiters. The Committee directs NASA to proceed
with implementation of the Cockpit Avionics Upgrade, the Advanced Heath
Management System and the External Tank Friction stir weld project.

In March 2002, NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel issued its
Annual Report. The Committee commends the Panel for its thorough
assessment of the Human Space Flight Program and its recommendations to
improve ISS and Space Shuttle safety. The Committee recognizes that NASA
has made safety its top priority and applauds the agency for the steps
it has taken to date to reduce risks and improve the safety and
reliability of all programs within the HEDS Enterprise including
operation of the Space Shuttle.

However, the Panel stated that current budget projections for the
Space Shuttle are insufficient to accommodate significant safety
upgrades, infrastructure upgrades and maintenance of critical workforce
skills over the long term. The Committee concurs with this assessment.
While the Committee recognizes that NASA is studying the overall space
transportation architecture, including second and third generation
re-usable launch vehicles to eventually replace the Shuttle, it is clear
that the Space Shuttle will continue to operate for at least the next
decade, and possibly as long as two decades, as NASA’s main heavy lift
vehicle for human space flight. Therefore, the Committee directs the
Administrator to include, as part of the fiscal year 2004 budget, a
thorough assessment of flight systems, logistics, infrastructure and
workforce readiness costs that would be needed to maintain and improve
Space Shuttle safety over the expected operational life of the Shuttle.

The Committee remains concerned about the overall state of the
infrastructure of the Space Shuttle program. While the committee is
aware that NASA has conducted an assessment of some of its
infrastructure, there has been no official comprehensive study of
Shuttle infrastructure needs with reliable cost estimates. Therefore,
the Committee directs the Administrator to report the Committees on
Appropriations by January 10, 2003, on the critical infrastructure needs
for the Space Shuttle program ranked by order of priority including cost
estimates for each project identified.

Payload and Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Support .–The Committee
recommends $87,500,000 for payload and ELV support, the same as the
budget request. This account provides technical expertise, facilities,
flight carrier hardware and capabilities necessary to provide servicing
of multiple payloads to be flown aboard the Space Shuttle. In 2002 and
2003, over 20 major and secondary payloads will be flown on the Shuttle.

In addition, this account provides funds for technical and management
insight of commercial launch services, including advanced mission
design/analysis and leading-edge integration services which are provided
for the full range of NASA missions under consideration for launch on
ELVs. In 2003, support for 10 ELV launches, including 1 secondary, is

Investments and Support .–The Committee recommends $1,178,200,000
for investments and support, the same as the budget request. Funding in
the account provides institutional support to the Human Exploration and
Development of Space (HEDS) Enterprise through research and program
management, construction of facilities, rocket propulsion testing and
engineering and technical support to maintain “core” technical skills
and capability at the NASA centers involved in human space flight.

Space Communications and Data Systems .–The Committee has provided
$117,500,000 for space communications and data systems, the same as the
budget request. Funding in this account provides space communications
services for all NASA Enterprises not otherwise covered by each

Safety, Mission Assurance and Engineering .–The Committee
recommends $47,600,000 for safety, mission assurance and engineering,
the same as the budget request. This account provides funding for
agencywide safety and engineering programs to ensure uniform safety
programs, practices and procedures are implemented throughout all NASA

SpaceRef staff editor.