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NASA OIG Report: ISS And LEO Commercialization

By Keith Cowing
November 30, 2021
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NASA OIG Report: ISS And LEO Commercialization

NASA’s Management of the International Space Station and Efforts to Commercialize Low Earth Orbit, NASA OIG
“… Under the Agency’s current plans, both health risk mitigation and technology demonstrations will not be complete by 2030 – the expected retirement date of the ISS. Consequently, a substantial gap between the Station’s retirement and the introduction of a new, commercial destination in low Earth orbit would force NASA to accept a higher level of health risk or delay start dates for long-duration, deep space human exploration missions.”
“…Challenges of commercialization include limited market demand, inadequate funding, unreliable cost estimates, and still-evolving requirements. The risk of deep space human exploration missions will increase significantly if NASA is not able to conduct the required microgravity health research and technology demonstrations on a habitable space destination in low Earth orbit. Furthermore, without a destination the nascent low Earth orbit commercial space economy would likely collapse, causing cascading impacts to commercial space transportation capabilities, in-space manufacturing, and microgravity research.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.