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Letter From Dan Goldin to John Gibbons About Space Station Alpha

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
September 20, 1993
Filed under

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Office of the Administrator
SEP 20 1993
The Honorable John H. Gibbons
Assistant to the President for
Science and Technology
Executive Office of the President
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Dr. Gibbons:
I am pleased to submit the costs and schedule impacts for Space Station Alpha which supplement the implementation plan provided to the President on September 7, 1993. The Space Station Alpha program will achieve the goals established by the President.
The Alpha program can be accomplished within the specified $2.1 billion annual funding level through Permanent Human Capability. This funding level supports a First Element Launch in September 1998 and Permanent Human Capability in September 2003.

The schedule has the potential to be significantly advanced through joint activities with Russian. The Alpha configuration allows the flexibility to incorporate that possibility with minimal impact tot he basic design.
With the approval of the President and the Congress, the NASA and contractor team is ready to implement the Space Station Alpha.
[signed] Daniel S. Goldin
Cost Report for Space Station Alpha
In June 1993, NASA reported to the advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station (the Vest Committee) on three configuration options for the Space Station. The Vets Committee in turn reported on their assessment of the options to the President. After review of the Committee’s recommendations, the President requested NASA to pursue the Option A (modular Approach) and to prepare a transition plan for implementing that option. The configuration that has been developed form the transition team’s work is the Space Station Alpha design.
With the recent selection of the prime contractor, NASA has begun to develop more detailed cost estimates for Space Station Alpha. As this effort proceeds, every attempt will be made to accelerate the schedule where possible and to reduce costs below the levels shown in this report.
This cost report presents the current estimates for Space Station Alpha and compares the results with Option A-1. The basic cost estimating techniques and content are the same as in Option A-1. Changes to the costing estimates for Option A-1 are in two major categories:
1)the impacts due to the President’s direction to maintain a $2.1 billion annual funding level for the Space Station through Permanent Human Capability and $1.4 billion annual level for continuing operations, and
2) changes form further refinement of the configuration and management approaches for the Space Station Alpha.
Using the $2.1 billion annual funding profile, First Element Launch occurs in September 1998, eleven months later than originally estimated in Option A-1. Permanent Human Capability is reached in September 2003, three years later than originally estimated in Option A-1. Every effort is being made to accelerate the estimated schedules within the funding guidelines.
The configuration refinements and further development of the management structure have required adjustments in the cost estimate. These adjustments are discussed in the cost estimate. These adjustments are discussed in more detail in later sections of this report. Top level comparisons of the cost estimates for the period form FY 1994 to FY 1998 and for the period through Permanent Human Capability are shown in Table 1 and Table 2.

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