The full report is online at

Executive Simmary

“The International Space Station has been officially under development by NASA since the late 1980’s. Numerous changes in schedule and cost projections throughout the 1990s have prompted reevaluations of the number and scale of major facilities that would eventually be placed on board; the schedule for developing, deploying, and utilizing those facilities; and the critical resources such as crew time and power needed to support ISS science research. As a result, specific concerns over schedule delays and potential downgrading of the ISS research capabilities have been growing for several years in the scientific community. In the fall of 2000, Congress directed the National Research Council (NRC) and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to organize a joint study of the status of microgravity research in the life and physical sciences as it related to the international Space Station (ISS). The study is being conducted in two phases. This phase-1 report addresses the question of the scientific community’s readiness to use the ISS for life and physical sciences and assess the relative costs and benefits of dedicating an annual space shuttle mission to research versus simply maintaining the current schedule for assembly of the ISS.”