Statement of

Daniel S. Goldin


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

before the

Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies

Committee on Appropriations

United States Senate

April 13, 2000

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

I am pleased to be here to present to you NASA’s budget request for
FY 2001. This is a great budget. It fully funds NASA’s priorities in FY
2001: make investments in improving Space Shuttle safety; build the International
Space Station (ISS) ; reduce the cost of access to space through a new
Space Launch Initiative; invest in outstanding science and technology;
and, revitalize the NASA workforce and facilities.

The FY 2001 request of $14.035 billion represents an increase of 3.2
percent over the

FY 2000 enacted level, and reflects future year increases that exceed
the rate of inflation. If the Administration’s vision for NASA is enacted
by Congress, funding for NASA will increase from an FY 2000 appropriation
of $13.6 billion to $15.6 billion in FY 2005. That is an endorsement of
our Strategic Plan of a balanced space and aeronautics program and a tremendous
tribute to the NASA team. The percentage of our FY 2001 budget devoted
to science and technology has increased from 31% in FY 1991 to 42%, and
is planned to grow to 51% by FY 2005. It represents a strong commitment
by this Administration to invest in science and technology, which is the
Nation’s foundation for future discoveries and economic prosperity.

Before I discuss NASA’s exciting future and the new programs provided
for in this budget, I would like to share with the Committee NASA’s achievements,
as well as our disappointments, since the last time I appeared before you.
It is this history on which the FY 2001 budget is built, which prepares
us for the future, and which provides the lessons and character to accomplish
what was previously only imaginable.

We had a very exciting year in FY 1999, full of exciting missions and
discoveries as we transitioned into the New Millennium. The achievements
in FY 1999 extended from improvements in aeronautics applications to benefit
the FAA and the air-faring public to the far reaches of the universe, which
addressed scientific objectives ranging from the environmental to the cosmological.

The list of accomplishments was impressive:

We started off the year with the launch of Deep Space One, a mission
to test 12 revolutionary technologies including spacecraft autonomy and
ion propulsion. The Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS), a small
explorer mission, was launched to study the chemical composition of interstellar
gas clouds. We launched Stardust on February 7, 1999, to rendezvous with
comet Wild ñ2 in 2004, and bring back to Earth a sample of comet dust in
2006. In Earth Science, we launched Landsat-7, the continuation of the
successful Landsat program;Terra, our flagship mission to study the Earth
as a system; Acrimsat the latest in a series of instruments used to study
the sun’s energy, and QuikSCAT to tell us how the wind blows over the oceans.
FUSE, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, was launched on June
24, 1999, to observe the universe in the ultraviolet and try to answer
questions such as what conditions existed in the universe a few minutes
after the Big Bang.

The first two ISS assembly missions were launched in November and December.
In July, the Space Shuttle Columbia, commanded by the first female Shuttle
commander, Colonel Eileen Collins, deployed the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The Hubble Space Telescope scientists calculated a value for how fast the
universe is expanding, after 8 years of painstaking measurement. Astronomers
funded by NASA witnessed for the first time a distant planet passing in
front of its star, providing direct and independent confirmation of the
existence of extrasolar planets. Mars Global Surveyor provided the first
global 3-dimensional map of Mars, and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory
enabled the first ever optical image of one of the most powerful explosions
in the universe.

NASA and its industry partners developed new technology to allow planes
to land safely in bad weather on parallel runways. The test version of
the X-34 rocket plane, made its first captive-carry flight toward certification
in preparation for testing new technologies and methods of operation needed
to develop low-cost reusable space vehicles. We worked with the launch
industry on the Space Transportation Architecture Studies, the fruits of
which are reflected in this budget plan. Although safety has always been
of foremost concern in NASA, we increased our focus on the need for a safe,
healthy, and productive workforce and environment, and strengthened our
resolve to reduce program costs as a result of focussing on improving safety.
That philosophy is reflected throughout this budget.

At the end of 1999, NASA safely and smoothly transitioned to the Year
2000 with no significant problems. NASA’s success was due to the hard work
of hundreds of dedicated employees, contractors, and our international
partners. During the transition period and the first few business weeks
of 2000, we experienced only minor anomalies that were easily addressed.
None of the anomalies had any significant impact on critical operations
or functions. Computer hacking was at normal levels, and no Y2K-related
attacks were detected

In 1999, we also experienced some severe disappointments and problems:
in the Mars Surveyor Program, with the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter,
the Mars Polar Lander and the Deep Space – 2 probes, and in the Space Shuttle
Program, with wiring problems affecting all of the orbiters, resulting
in grounding of the entire fleet from August until December, as well as
a hydrogen leak found in one of the Space Shuttle main engines. The TERRIERS
and Wide Infrared Explorer missions failed. The X-33 composite hydrogen
tank did not pass its qualification tests and the launch plans for the
assembly of the ISS were delayed. We experienced deferrals in achieving
a launch-ready position for the U.S. laboratory module and other components,
although I am pleased to report these have now been overcome and we will
be ready to launch. Our Russian partners also made good progress in readying
the Service Module for launch, although their funding challenges continue
to cause concern about their ability to fully meet their commitments. In
addition, Sea Launch just experienced its first launch failure, losing
an ICO payload.

1999 also was marked by continuing launch vehicle failures that directly
and indirectly impacted NASA programs. The Russian Proton failures have
had a significant impact on the readiness to launch the ISS Service Module.
The Russians were not alone in experiencing launch failures, as the Japanese,
Europeans, and the United States struggled as well to achieve safe and
reliable access to space. And, as recently as February 10, a Japanese launch
vehicle failed, taking with it NASA’s investment in the Astro-E X-ray spectroscopy

There have been a number of independent reviews to examine these problems,
search for the root causes, and recommend changes. NASA worked closely
with the Department of Defense and others on the Broad Area Review. We
chartered reviews of the Shuttle wiring problems, the WIRE and Terriers
failures, and of course the Mars Surveyor Program failures. As a result
of the Mars failures, I commissioned a Mars Program Independent Assessment
Team in December 1999 led by A. Thomas Young. That team was charged to
review and assess the entire Mars program architecture, management, content
and recent failures. The team had complete authority to delve into any
and every aspect of NASA’s program management. That report was released
on March 28, and has been provided to the Committee. Also, the Mars Climate
Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board Report led by the Director of the Marshall
Space Flight Center, Arthur Stephenson, and the Faster, Better, Cheaper
Review, headed by Tony Spear were released on March 13, 2000.

These reports make several valuable recommendations as a result of assessing
both the recent failures and recent successes, and the practices that made
them such. We have tasked an Agency-wide NASA Integrated Action Team (NIAT),
led by Brian Keegan, NASA’s Chief Engineer, to define a plan to mitigate
the root causes for these failures and enhance the probability of future
success. The NIAT has divided the assessment of all recommendations into
four key areas: people, processes, process implementation, and advanced
tools and technology. An action set will be formulated for each area.

On September 7, 1999, Joseph H. Rothenberg, Associate Administrator
for Space Flight, chartered a Space Shuttle Independent Assessment Team
(SIAT). The SIAT performed an independent technical review of Space Shuttle
systems and maintenance practices. Dr. Henry McDonald, Director of the
Ames Research Center, chaired this joint NASA/DOD/contractor team. The
SIAT concluded their activities and submitted a written report to Mr. Rothenberg
on March 7, 2000. NASA forwarded copies of the report to Congress on March
9, 2000. The President’s FY 2001 budget request has significant increases
for investing in Shuttle safety that could be used to address these issues.

Each of these teams has made recommendations that will help us improve
our processes and make our operations safer and better. After careful review
of these reports, NASA will share our plans to address the recommendations
contained in the reports with the Congress and work with you and the Administration
to ensure their timely implementation. We must continue to learn, not only
from our successes, but also from our failures.

Mr. Chairman, in spite of our difficulties, I believe the report card
on NASA’s performance reflects well on the support of the Committee and
on behalf of the American people. While we accomplished a great deal in
1999, I see an even brighter future ahead. That does not mean we will not
experience difficulties. We will. The ambitious programs we undertake are
intolerant of human error and stress our human capabilities to detect and
respond to anomalies. Our strategy to achieve major improvements in safety,
taking advantage of emergent technical tools, such as the Intelligent Synthesis
Environment, includes improving our systems management approaches, and
continuing to infuse the philosophy and practice of safety in all that
we undertake. This budget provides funding for the research into and development
of the technologies that will improve the probability of mission success.
The additional funding requested for personnel and facilities, Shuttle
safety investments, the next generations of launch vehicles, general aviation
aircraft, Intelligent Systems, Bioastronautics, and nanotechnologies should
all be understood as key players in improving Safety.

FY 2001 Budget Overview

The FY 2001 budget represents a vote of confidence from the President
that NASA is ready to tackle new challenges and opportunities in the New
Millennium. This budget funds NASA’s priorities and makes critical new
investments to improve Space Shuttle safety, continue to build the ISS,
enable a new generation of reusable launch vehicles that will improve the
safety and reduce the cost of access to space through a new Space Launch
Initiative, undertake new science and technology initiatives to enhance
our understanding of our planet, the solar system and the universe, and
invest in aeronautics, education, our workforce and facilities.

First, the FY 2001 budget includes a $300 million increase through FY
2005 for additional personnel at NASA’s Human Space Flight Centers to ensure
that the right skills and staffing levels are in place to operate the Space
Shuttle safely and to launch and assemble the ISS. Over the past five years,
we completed an exercise to streamline and downsize the NASA workforce.
We told you that if we cut too far we would come back and tell you. After
reviews by both internal and external groups, we concluded that continuing
on our current plan would indeed cut too far, in light of the increased
activity planned over the next several years as we continue to build the
ISS. This budget includes the necessary funding to stabilize and revitalize
our workforce, particularly at the Human Space Flight Centers.

Thanks to Administration investments, this budget includes a $1.5 billion
increase for Space Shuttle safety improvements over six years. This increase,
when combined with $600 million for upgrades in this year’s budget, totals
$2.1 billion from FY 2000 through FY 2005. This will allow us to address
Space Shuttle safety improvements through hardware/software upgrades and
personnel, facility, and other safety investments. This $2.1 billion will
improve Space Shuttle safety by nearly a factor of two. The safety upgrades
will be integrated into the Shuttle fleet by 2005 to be completed in time
to pay benefits, and all safety investments will be managed within the
safety allocation budget.

Thanks to support from the Congress, the two highest priority safety
upgrades have already been initiated: the electric auxiliary power unit
(EAPU), and advanced health monitoring for the Space Shuttle main engines
(SSME). We are studying a broad range of additional safety investments,
including upgrades, personnel, facilities, and other safety investments.
The recommendations of the SIAT Report will provide an important source
of input for identifying these additional safety investments. The NASA
Advisory Council will undertake a review of our comprehensive safety investment
strategy, to ensure that these investments will generate the most effective
safety improvements as quickly as possible.

This year will be a landmark year for the ISS. We have high expectations
that the first crew will begin to live aboard the Station, as the United
States and our partners begin to reap the benefits of long-duration research
in space. We anticipate that, as planned research gets underway, opportunities
for new unforeseen paths of study will arise. While we have a number of
challenges in the ISS program, we are committed to its expeditious completion.
Because of Russian Proton rocket failures, the launch of the Service Module
(SM) has been delayed, and we are faced with adding a shuttle mission to
service the station elements on orbit because those elements are operating
longer than planned without the Service Module in place. We are working
closely with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency to understand their
plans for return to flight of the Proton launch vehicle and scheduled launch
of the Russian SM. The Russians have reported that the SM is now scheduled
to launch in a window between July 8-14, and the first successful Proton
launch since last year’s failures occurred on February 12. NASA is proceeding
with preparations to launch the Interim Control Module in December 2000
should SM delays continue. The United States is leading a 15-nation partnership
in building a cutting-edge on-orbit research facility. We will work through
these current difficulties, and will continue building the ISS. We continue
to strongly support the ISS program as an important investment in America’s
long-term future in science and technology.

I am particularly pleased to report to the Committee that this budget
reflects robust funding for initiation of a new Space Launch Initiative.
Safe, cost effective space transportation remains the key enabler of a
more aggressive civil space program, and I believe the Space Launch Initiative
puts us on the track to accomplish this. This initiative is a result of
NASA’s Integrated Space Transportation Plan that consolidated Space Shuttle
Safety Upgrades, 2nd and 3rd Generation Reusable
Launch vehicle technology programs, Alternate Access to Space Station and
Aero-Space Base programs into a unified Agency strategy. It makes the critical
investments that will enable major safety, reliability and affordability
improvements for future generations of space transportation systems. The
Space Launch Initiative makes an investment of $4.5 billion over 5 years
for the 2nd generation RLV.

The Space Launch Initiative program is focused on initiating full scale
development of a 2nd generation RLV architecture. It supports
a 2005 competition to meet NASA’s launch needs through purchase of commercial
launch services by 2010, with the specific goal of achieving commercial
ownership and operation of any new RLVs as early as 2010 if industry performs
as promised. NASA’s investments will focus on reducing technical, design
and other programmatic risks through the use of large scale, long-life
ground and flight tests and other risk reduction activities. We will also
invest in reducing risk associated with systems that would be used for
NASA-unique needs. The Space Launch Initiative is the product of more than
a year of study and interaction between NASA and industry. The focus of
the study has been on developing an integrated space transportation plan
to meet NASA’s needs for human and cargo delivery, while seeking synergy
with the commercial space sector. The Initiative also includes procurement
of near-term alternative access to the ISS for cargo transport needs on
commercial vehicles.

This year we will undertake bold new science and technology initiatives
in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information technology. Three key
emerging, interrelated technologies will provide NASA with a new pathway
to revolutionize our missions and the scientific and engineering systems
that enable them: biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology.
Over the past decade, there have been tremendous scientific breakthroughs
in the understanding of these fundamental processes. We are now ready for
our technology to move out and exploit what we are learning. We will develop
and execute our missions with greater safety, performance and robustness,
while continuously decreasing design cycle time and life cycle cost.

The first tier of NASA’s technology strategy is biotechnology — the
true revolutionary technology of the 21st century. Since the
formation of the first cells on Earth, all living systems have developed
an extraordinary capacity to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, build-in
a high degree of resilience enabling them to overcome damage and evolve
in response to new environments. In terms of size, memory, processing speed
and energy consumption biological systems are up to a billion times better
than the systems we build today. These are the characteristics NASA will
build into its future missions and systems. NASA will apply the underlying
principles of biological processes to all our missions. We will develop
biologically-inspired materials that self-repair when damaged, structures
that self-assemble to achieve near perfect final shapes. We will develop
concepts for aircraft that change their shape in flight like birds to optimize
performance or perform complex maneuvers in complete safety.

Nanotechnology provides the capability to manipulate matter at the atomic
level. In the future, we will measure the way we design and build our systems
by the atom, not by the pound. Today, we are developing material systems,
at the molecular level, that are 100 times stronger than steel at 1/6 the
weight. We will also develop sensors and detectors capable of responding
to a single photon of light or the stimulus from a single electron. Using
nanotechnology, we will build systems on a scale 1000 times smaller than
today — at true molecular level. They will be based on concepts emerging
from biology, quantum mechanics and chemistry, all of which have no current
parallel. Following this hearing, in this very room, Dr. Richard Klaussner
and I will sign a memorandum of understanding between NASA and the National
Cancer Institute to develop new biomedical technologies related to nano-explorers
that can detect, diagnose and treat disease here on Earth and in space.

NASA is also on a path to “revolutionize” the information technology
revolution and apply it to our unique mission needs. Humans can process
the equivalent of about a terabyte of data every second — that is equivalent
to about 24 hours of television ñ as we process the data from our multi-sensory
systems ñ sight, sound, smell, touch. We do this because we do not simply
compute, we think. This third tier of our technology strategy will blur
the notion of computer hardware and software and systems built from chips
and black boxes. Our future systems will look and operate more like living
systems than machines. We will build them with distributed sensory systems–like
a central nervous systems–to allow us to monitor and control every function.
Our computer systems will more resemble the human brain, with the capacity
to learn.

The safety, productivity and health of the human in space supported
by these technology tools are the foundation of our vision to explore.
To catalyze this human-technology interaction, we will base our designs
on biological processes and principles proven over the existence of mankind
to adapt to changing and dynamic environments. The development and deployment
of such technological tools will serve as extensions and expansions of
human cognitive processes and blend inextricably with the human user.

The Bioastronautics Initiative will significantly improve long-term
crew safety and health, and is the forcing function that focuses the research
already underway to solving operational health and safety problems. Medical
support systems will be developed by accelerating development and validation
of countermeasures for the diagnosis, therapy, prevention and rehabilitation
of crew on long duration missions aboard the ISS. Solutions to these space
health problems find ready application to a multitude of health problems
on Earth.

We are making new investments to enhance our Mars exploration strategy
with funding to establish a Mars Communication Network, a system of communication
satellites around Mars that will greatly increase the science return and
overall success of future Mars missions. Eventually, this Network will
enable researchers and the public to explore and experience Mars firsthand
through live video links. The Administration has recognized the inherent
risk in space exploration, and given NASA a vote of confidence by providing
a total of almost $350 million in additional funding for Mars. In combination
with the Mars Communication Network, these funds will allow us to pursue
a sustained presence at multiple locations in and around Mars and build
incrementally to support aggressive future goals. If successful, this approach
to Mars could become a model for future missions to other research targets.
As the President said in his State of the Union address, we must “set great
goals worthy of a great nation.” We are doing just that. This budget also
contains new funding for new Discovery Program micromissions to facilitate
new low-cost solar system research opportunities, and restores Space Science
funding for the Flight Validation Program (formerly the New Millennium
Program) that will enable us to develop and test revolutionary technologies
to enable future missions.

A new Space Science program I am particularly excited about is Living
With a Star, a new scientific research initiative to understand the Sun’s
impact on the Earth and space environment. The FY 2001 budget includes
funding to begin Living With a Star. The program will deploy some of the
most creative and advanced technologies to construct a network of spacecraft
aimed at helping us understand our star, the Sun, and how it influences
the Earth. We cannot talk about sending people to other planets without
first understanding how astronauts would be affected by the Sun’s radiation.
How can we fully understand the Earth’s climate system without understanding
solar variability and its affect on the Earth’s atmosphere? Using multiple
spacecraft, these Solar Sentinels will be able to track Earth-directed
coronal mass ejections and pave the way for future systems that can warn
of impending danger to terrestrial power grids, our astronauts, and air
passengers flying at high altitudes, and to national security and civil
space assets. Given the importance of understanding and predicting solar
variability to fundamental science, terrestrial climate, national defense,
and technology, NASA has begun to develop collaborations with NSF, DOD
agencies, FAA, and NOAA, and will pursue collaborations with the commercial
space industry as well.

In Earth Science, we will continue to develop a full and comprehensive
understanding of the total Earth system and the impacts of natural and
human-induced changes on the global environment. Through recent technology
efforts, we will shrink the size, cost, and development time for our missions
planned for this decade. Following decades will see a web of sensors over
the Earth in a variety of orbits, including constellations of intelligent
microsatellites that target resources or major events happening on the
Earth’s surface. While pursuing our core Earth Science objectives, we will
also provide the tools to apply satellite imagery and technology to generate
the next great advances in weather and climate prediction, improve agricultural
productivity, and advance the growth of the U.S. commercial remote sensing
industry. These applications have the potential to enhance our quality
of life and stimulate the development of new commercial products and services
based on NASA-developed technology.

This budget includes funding for new initiatives in Aeronautics. Over
the 5-year period from FY 2001 through FY 2005, the new Small Aircraft
Transportation System (SATS) Program is funded at $69 million. The budget
also supports a funding increase of $100 million for noise and emissions
research over the same 5-year period, including the new Quiet Aircraft
Technology (QAT) Program. SATS will develop vehicle and infrastructure
technologies to reduce the accident rate of small aircraft to that of commercial
transports, utilize the Nation’s under-used airspace and landing facilities
at non-hub airports in all weather conditions, and increase capacity for
efficient operations of commuter, regional and runway independent aircraft
at hub airports. QAT will provide the technology to meet the NASA/FAA vision
for a noise-constraint-free air transportation system that would contain
the decibel contour within the airport boundaries, a 10 decibel reduction
from 1997.

The FY 2001 budget makes necessary investments in NASA’s workforce and
the NASA institution by providing additional funding for stabilizing civil
service personnel levels at NASA’s Space Flight Centers and addressing
pressing facility issues. This will help keep NASA’s highly skilled workforce
safe and healthy by spreading the tremendous workload among more people.
In addition, it will help NASA improve the safety and reliability of our
unique assets by ensuring the right staffing levels are in place to improve
the Space Shuttle and assemble the ISS. An increase of almost $600 million
over 5 years will cover not only increased personnel salary and expense
costs but also an FTE increase over the previous downsizing plans until
2004. The effect is to hold personnel levels steady at the FY 1999 level
at NASA’s Space Flight Centers. An increase of almost $200 million over
5 years is included for facilities revitalization in order to reverse a
long-term trend of declining facility condition, which is impacting safety
and productivity. We have completed a Core Capabilities Assessment that
identified the physical and human assets required to accomplish the Mission
Areas and Center of Excellence assignments identified in our Strategic
Plan. With this as a basis, we can now make investments in facilities with
the assurance that those in which we are investing are essential for success
of our missions and the safety of our personnel.

One of the many ways in which NASA establishes our relevance to the
American people is through our education program. The NASA Education Program
is comprehensive, addressing all levels of the education system from K-12
schools to colleges and universities. In all our education activities we
strive to achieve education excellence by involving the educational community
in our endeavors to inspire America’s students, create learning opportunities,
and enlighten inquisitive minds.

Included in the budget for FY 2001 is a request for $1 million to begin
a coordinated, Agency-wide internship program for undergraduate students.
Through this program, we anticipate providing a diverse group of 200 students
a 10-week internship program at a NASA Field Center. This program is critical
to complete a continuum of student programs that currently begin in high
school and continue through graduate and post-graduate education. We have
also listened to the Congress, and increased our baseline funding for Space
Grant in this budget. The funding level represents an increase of $5.6
million over our previous request and is maintained in the outyears. An
additional $7.4 million is included for the Minority University Research
Program to continue the Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aeronautics
Academy (SEMAA) Program through competitive selections and to continue
partnerships with other institutions in support of math, science, and technology
education at all levels of education for under represented groups. While
our budget for Academic Programs in FY 2001 is below the overall FY 2000
enacted level, it maintains our base level funding for our core programs
but does not continue funding for Congressional earmarks.

NASA’s proposed FY 2001 budget of $14.035 billion signifies a strong
commitment by this Administration to science and technology and recognizes
the critical role it plays in stimulating the economy and developing the
jobs of tomorrow. Now I would like to discuss in detail each of the Strategic
Enterprises and major program areas.

NASA Enterprise Detail

Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise

International Space Station

Compared to the FY 2000 budget, the FY 2001 budget request reflects
an overall reduction in the budget and runout estimates through FY 2005
of about $1.2 billion. Roughly $0.8 billion of this reduction is due to
the movement of funding for the Phase 2 production of the ISS Crew Return
Vehicle (CRV) to the Science, Aeronautics and Technology budget account.
The FY 2002-2005 funding estimates will reside in that account pending
a decision in the next two years on whether to proceed with an X-38-based
CRV design, in the context of broader decisions that NASA and the Administration
will make regarding future space transportation architectures. There is
also an approximate $0.4 billion reduction in other ISS funding over 5
years, in order to fund Agency needs and other high-priority activities
such as the Bioastronautics initiative.

In 1998, we celebrated the birth of the ISS, as the first 2 elements
were successfully launched and mated; the combined stack has now completed
over 6,700 orbits. In 1999, flight hardware continued to be delivered to
the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). We just successfully completed the most
comprehensive systems integration test and evaluation at NASA since STS-1.
It worked flawlessly. The Mission Sequence Test sequentially exercised
all nominal crew and mission control interfaces planned for deployment
of the U.S. laboratory, per the 5A flight plan, with actual hardware and
software response. The test was performed as close to the in-flight configuration
as possible. It included additional mission control to ISS interfaces not
performed during previous multi-element tests, allowing engineers to validate
operational flight plans and procedures. These tests ñ while critical to
ensuring that the ISS will work in space as planned ñ have taken longer
than planned, resulting in slips last year. However, as a result, we can
now confidently say that we will be ready to launch the American equipment.
Also, last October, on-orbit assembly planning paused after Russia encountered
two setbacks in its long history of over 250 Proton launches, 95 percent
of which have been successful. While these launch delays are unfortunate,
they illustrate both the importance of integrated testing and the need
for redundant launch systems, as the ISS program has with the Shuttle and

Decisions made at the General Designers Review in Russia on February
11 place the SM on a path to launch this summer in a launch window of July
8-14. Should the SM experience further delays or mission failure, we will
launch the ICM in December 2000. Should the SM be successfully launched
this summer, we will reconfigure the ICM to enable docking with the SM
as early as 2001. I have clearly communicated to Mr. Koptev that the ISS
program will move forward in 2000, regardless of whether the SM is ready
for launch.

Relative to the Proton failure, its return to launch, and plans for
launch of the SM (SM), RSA provided their plan and technical considerations
at the General Designers Review. The failure was attributed to contamination
and manufacturing non-compliances during 1992/93 timeframe. None of these
engines is slated for future launch. However, several commercial parties
have agreed to launch on inspected engines from later production sets.
The plan for the SM is to launch it on engines upgraded to increase their
resilience against these types of failures. The SM launch will follow 2
precursor flights using the same Proton modifications and upgraded engines,
as well as other commercial Proton flights. NASA propulsion experts have
reviewed these plans and are in agreement that the Russian approach provides
a high degree of launch confidence. NASA has also asked the NASA Advisory
Council (Stafford) Task Force on ISS Operational Readiness to review the
findings of various Proton launch failure investigation teams with RSA’s
Advisory Expert Council and provide their views on the SM launch plan.

Delay in the SM launch also impacts Zarya, in that its flight certification
period must be extended. NASA’s plans include a Space Shuttle mission to
the on-orbit ISS this Spring to perform critical maintenance on some of
Zarya’s systems to re-certify it for flight through December 2000, consistent
with ICM contingency planning. This approach requires splitting the presently
planned mission following the Service Module launch, 2A.2, into two missions
designated 2A.2a and 2A.2b. The 2A.2a mission would occur this Spring to
provide the needed maintenance on Zarya. The 2A.2b mission will be similar
to the currently manifested 2A.2 mission in that it will prepare the SM
for the arrival of its first resident crew in late 2000. Shuttle Orbiter
Atlantis will be used for both missions, minimizing mission unique costs
and enabling a reduced turnaround time for the second flight. Since some
Shuttle missions have been delayed due to the Service Module/Proton problem,
the addition of 2A.2a would not increase the annual Space Shuttle flight
rate, nor materially affect our budget.

Program momentum is being maintained as KSC is taking delivery of new
flight hardware with each passing month. Last year I told you of the on-going
transition from development work into operations. This trend has accelerated
in earnest with many elements for flights through 12A having been delivered
to KSC including truss segments, attitude control system, communications
system, the first solar arrays, thermal radiators, integrated electronics,
and the U.S. Laboratory, “Destiny.”

We have significantly reduced the amount of risk as elements have moved
through the first set of integrated testing. These multi-element tests,
while critical to ensuring that the ISS will work in space as planned,
have taken longer than expected, resulting in slips to the U.S. Flight
Elements Schedules. This summer, we will move into the second major set
of integrated testing activity. This activity will verify ISS flight hardware
to each other and to the orbiters. Also included in the test will be the
mobile transporter, a movable base of the Station’s Canadian mechanical
arm that allows it to travel along the Station truss.

Progress on U.S. items has not been without challenges. Just last fall
we determined the likely cause for a component failure in the ISS DC to
DC Converter Unit (DDCU), the U.S. pacing component for flights 3A-5A.
We are now working delivery of alternate parts to maintain our schedules.

U.S. flight elements are now prepared for the next major steps in the
ISS assembly. By this fall, Flight 3A will carry the Z-1 Truss Segment,
Control Moment Gyros (CMG), the third Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA-3),
Ku-band and S-band equipment, and extravehicular activity subsystem components.
The Z-1 truss will provide a base for temporary installation of the P-6
photovoltaic module to Node 1. That will provide U.S.-based electrical
power early in the Station’s assembly process. PMA-3 will provide a Space
Shuttle docking location for installation of the laboratory on Flight 5A.
Russian Flight 2R will deliver the first long-duration crew, Commander
Bill Shepherd, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko, and Flight Engineer Sergei
Krikalev. We will also see the arrival of the first crew in a Soyuz spacecraft;
it will remain attached to the ISS and provide an emergency return capability
for the crew. Permanent human presence aboard the ISS begins with this
expeditionary crew. By the close of Fall, Flight 4A is scheduled for launch,
and includes the P6 Truss structure containing the long spacer, the Integrated
Electronic Assembly (IEA), the P6 photovoltaic array, External Active Thermal
Control System (EATCS) and additional S-band equipment. This launch will
establish initial U.S. user capability by providing power generation and
photovoltaic thermal control.

In January 2001, the U.S. laboratory will be launched on flight 5A along
with 5 integrated systems racks and the Human Research Facility (HRF) rack.
The capability to conduct research aboard the ISS will begin with delivery
and outfitting of the HRF. Flight 5A.1, is to be launched to continue the
outfitting of the U.S. laboratory with 6 additional lab system racks and
one HRF payload rack. The Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
(MPLM) will be used as the pressurized carrier for this hardware. Flight
6A will be launched to continue the outfitting of the U.S. laboratory with
the addition of 2 stowage and 2 EXPRESS payload racks. Also included are
the UHF antenna and the Canadian Space Station Remote Manipulator System
(SSRMS), the “arm” that will help with Station assembly. MPLM-2, known
as Leonardo, will be used as the pressurized carrier on this flight. The
UHF antenna will provide space-to-space communications capability for U.S.-based
EVA, while the SSRMS will be used to perform assembly operations on future
flights. Flight 7A will launch the airlock and high-pressure oxygen and
nitrogen. The addition of the airlock to the on-orbit stack permits ISS-based
EVA without the loss of environmental consumables such as oxygen. Flight
7A completes Phase 2 of the ISS Program. Finally, Flight 7A.1, and the
initial utilization flight (UF-1) will complete the FY 2001 schedule of

As the program transitions into the assembly and operations phase, manufacturing
activities are declining. Over 90 percent of the U.S. ISS development contract
is complete, with the majority of flight hardware scheduled to be delivered
to the launch site this year. With these changes, it is in the best interest
of the Government to concentrate resources on assembly planning, operations
and utilization readiness, and on the on-orbit assembly of the ISS. As
such, NASA restructured the Prime contract to focus resources on the work
remaining in the most efficient manner. The restructure provides the Government
and Boeing flexibility in directing the work force at a time when fast
responses to unanticipated problems are desirable. The restructure also
provides incentive for Boeing to improve performance through a revised
award fee system for the remaining work.

Relative to operations, the communications systems between Mission Control
Center (MCC)-Houston, MCC-Moscow, and the ISS have been successfully demonstrated
and avoided Y2K related issues. The U.S.-led international control teams
have been vigorously exercised as they worked anomaly resolution, avoidance
maneuvers, an ISS reboost and the first docking with the ISS.

NASA continues to evaluate program progress and take contingency steps
to mitigate risk in case any partners have problems meeting their commitments.
NASA is making good progress toward completing these steps. A key element
in this plan is the development of the U.S. Propulsion Module. The Preliminary
Design Review process for the Propulsion Module will be completed in June,
leading to initiation of its critical design phase.

A second set of contingency plan activities is the purchase of unique
Russian goods and services. As ISS development, assembly and operations
have progressed, NASA has identified goods and services that would allow
the implementation of the next steps of NASA’s Contingency Plan and provide
improved crew training and operational capabilities. The goods and services
NASA intends to purchase are:

  • outside the scope of what Russia has agreed to provide as part of its commitment
    to the ISS;
  • uniquely available from Russia, and would be much more costly and significantly
    delayed, if purchased from U.S. or other sources; and,
  • needed to ensure timely availability of U.S. contingency capabilities.

Russia has a good record of on-schedule and on-budget delivery of items
purchased, and NASA is confident in the timely delivery of these needed
items. I believe that the provision of these goods and services will reduce
risk to our crew and to the overall ISS program. Protecting the ultimate
safety of our ISS crew and the investment of the American people is paramount
in our decision to embark on this transaction. An Operating Plan change
request was submitted to the Committee on February 11, and I thank you
for your expeditious response. The most time-critical of the hardware,
specifically a pressure dome and an Androgynous Peripheral Docking Adapter
(APAS), need to be purchased in the very near future to support contingency
scenarios. While the recent enactment of HR 1883, the Iran Nonproliferation
Act of 2000, will affect the process by which NASA purchases these items
from the Rosaviakosmos, HR 1883 provides for a streamlined reporting procedure
to the Congress for the hardware of most immediate interest to NASA.

In the United States, development of Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) operational
technologies through the X-38 program is progressing well, with testing
of two 83% scale atmospheric flight vehicles, construction of a full scale
space reentry vehicle, and testing of a full operational scale 7500 sq.
ft. parafoil, the largest in the world. The first test flight of the full-scale
parafoil was successfully completed in January 2000, with flawless deployment
dynamics and a safe touchdown ñ a major project milestone. In a future
Operating Plan adjustment, we plan to reallocate an additional $21 million
in FY 2000 for CRV Phase I development to assure success of critical validation
tests and design. We are proceeding toward an FY 2002 competition down-select
to 2 contractors to get ready for a production decision. We will work with
the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) to make sure we have the safest

While NASA works aggressively toward deployment of a U.S. crew return
capability, we have decided to move funding for the CRV production phase
into the Science, Aeronautics and Technology funding line. Production funding
will remain in this line while we work toward validation of the X-38/CRV
approach as the safest way to provide the crew return function, and evaluate
the potential of Crew Transfer Vehicle (CTV) concepts as an alternative
approach. Until the arrival of the CRV, the Russian Soyuz will be the only
means of crew rescue. The CRV was planned to be available in May 2004 (based
on the June 1, 1999 Revision E assembly sequence), but X-38 program delays
and a cut in FY 2000 appropriations to the CRV project has delayed availability
by 12 to 18 months. Given the delays in assembly since the Rev. E assembly
sequence was released, and the impact of those delays on 6-person readiness,
most of the 12-18 month slip in CRV delivery should be accommodated in
the new assembly schedule. If 6-person capability is achieved prior to
availability of a U.S. crew return capability, the launch of a 6-person
crew could be deferred a few months, or additional Soyuz crew return services
could be purchased to fill the gap.

The contributions of our other International Partners will become more
prominent as assembly progresses throughout this year. Two of the 3 Italian
Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM) and the Canadian Space Station Remote
Manipulator System (SSRMS) have been delivered to KSC and are in preparation
for launch. The third MPLM is in assembly in Turin. In late 2001, initial
deliveries of the Japanese Experimental Module (JEM) begin to arrive in
the United States. The European Columbus Orbital Facility is in production
and is on schedule for delivery in early 2004.

Economic Development of Space

While much of the early effort regarding the economic development of
space was focused on the ISS due to its enormous potential in scientific
and business applications, NASA has also reached out into other space opportunities.
We believe that the key to increasing and accelerating space commercialization,
not just maximizing what is currently available or achievable, is to bring
in new players ñ investors, customers, suppliers, and users ñ and make
it easy for them to include space as part of their business strategies
and operations. We solicited and incorporated inputs from all sectors of
the economy as we worked on our approach for enabling the economic development
of space.

Beginning in 1998, NASA committed to set aside at least 30% of the ISS
payload capacity for commercial development. During 1999, we put in place
the necessary management systems and processes with which to conduct a
vigorous economic development program for the ISS. Process improvements
made in the past year included: single point of entry process for all entrepreneurial
offers; policies to protect private intellectual property and proprietary
data; an ISS demonstration pricing policy to stimulate commercial investment
and government/industry partnership; and, a soon-to-be published price
list for using ISS resources such as research racks, crew time, power,
and other resources. This integrated and inclusive approach has resulted
in entrepreneurial offers from private companies wanting to use part of
the ISS and related infrastructure for non-Government businesses. Most
offers involve private investment and non-Government use of space assets.

We are also working on the development of a Non Government Organization
(NGO) for ISS utilization management. This has the potential to greatly
enhance the scientific and commercial uses of the ISS, while at the same
time freeing up precious NASA resources to concentrate on pushing the boundaries
of science and technology.

Near term commercialization opportunities include NASA TV and its related
multi-media infrastructure; commercial habitation module; reimbursable
space shuttle flights; remote sensing, multiple use research centers; and
solar power platform for communications and surveillance. With the help
of the Administration and Congress, we have an exciting start in our initiative
for the economic development of space. The pending launch of the ISS laboratory
module, and the start of the permanent human presence in space should take
us to yet another level in our quest to open up space to increasingly more
people and applications. Our next step is the inclusion of and coordination
with our international partners to further expand the commercial opportunities
and reach of our assets.

All recent policies, reports, and procedures can be found at

Space Shuttle

The FY 2001 Space Shuttle budget is $3.165 billion, a 6.2 percent increase
over the FY 2000 budget. The Space Shuttle continues to prove that it is
the safest and most versatile launch vehicle ever built. The team has proven
again that safety, not schedule, dictates launch readiness. I salute them.

The Space Shuttle manifest currently reflects 9 missions scheduled to
fly during FY 2001 ó7 ISS assembly flights, the second half of the Hubble
Space Telescope’s third servicing mission, and a research flight. This
is a significant increase over the 4 missions that were conducted in both
FY 1998 and FY 1999, and a further increase over the 5 missions currently
manifested for flight in FY 2000. The FY 2001 budget of $3.165 billion
will enable the system to successfully meet its goals to: 1) fly safely;
2) meet the flight manifest serving diverse customers; 3) improve the system;
and, 4) improve supportability. This year, and in the near-term, the manifest
is dominated by ISS assembly.

We must continue to ensure the Space Shuttle’s viability as a safe,
effective transportation system and scientific platform. The Space Shuttle
will need to be capable of supporting the critical human space transportation
requirements for ISS assembly and operations and through at least a significant
portion of the 10 years of the completed Space Station’s life. To accomplish
this, we must continue to invest in the system’s safety and supportability
until a replacement vehicle is available. We have found that investing
in upgrades provides, not only a safer vehicle, but one that is more reliable
and one that is easier to maintain.

I appreciate the additional $25 million that the Congress provided in
FY 2000 to invest in high priority safety upgrades and start the process.
In addition, we reprioritized the existing budget within Human Space Flight
to bring the total FY 2000 budget for high priority safety upgrades to
$50 million. The Space Shuttle program is initiating two high priority
safety upgrades and has recommended additional investments for study. In
the FY 2001 request, the Administration has provided additional funding
to continue the initiatives that started in FY 2000, as well as additional
high priority safety upgrades that are being funded in FY2001.

I have directed that safety upgrades be developed and implemented into
the Orbiter fleet no later than 2005 to realize the benefits of these high
priority safety upgrades to the fullest before we transition to a Space
Shuttle replacement. I am happy to be able to report that work on these
upgrades in currently underway. Because safety and reliability benefits
can be realized from investing in the Space Shuttle, additional investment
candidates have been identified for the Orbiter and propulsion elements
of the vehicle. Examples include the Block III Space Shuttle Main Engine
(SSME), the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) Advanced Thrust Vector Control (TVC),
and the Electric APU or Solid Propellant Gas Generator (SPGG). These candidates
will be studied, along with other upgrades, personnel, facility or other
safety investments, to validate priorities and cost in FY 2000 prior to
decisions whether to initiate their implementation or development in FY
2001 as part of the Shuttle safety allocation. Additional studies are being
conducted in several areas such as the Space Shuttle’s Thermal Protection
System (TPS) lower surface tile upgrades, propulsion system, and hazard
protection during processing. Completion of these studies is vital to successfully
supporting our safety efforts and will be complemented by outside reviews.

The Administration’s FY 2001 budget proposes to redirect funding identified
in the FY 2000 appropriation bill to partially pay for another dedicated
research mission into safety investments by hiring additional civil service
personnel at the Human Space Flight Centers, and accelerating the development
of the Space Shuttle safety upgrades. These are very high priorities for
this Agency. I am also a firm believer in the value of providing sufficient
research opportunities to the science community impacted by the delays
in the Space Station’s assembly. I agree with Congress on the merits of
doing so. That is why we have plans to fly a research mission (STS-107)
in early FY2001, and use increased Shuttle middeck locker opportunities
during Shuttle assembly flights. Over the next five years, we plan to increase
the number of investigators in Life and Microgravity research to enable
us to take advantage of every flight opportunity and we must continue to
focus limited resources on getting ISS built and its research hardware
developed as soon as possible.

Space Shuttle Independent Assessment Team

As a result of the ascent anomalies experienced on STS-93, on September
7, 1999, Associate Administrator for Space Flight, Mr. Joseph H. Rothenberg,
chartered the Space Shuttle Independent Assessment Team (SIAT). Dr. Henry
McDonald, Director of the Ames Research Center, chaired an independent
technical team to review the Space Shuttle systems and maintenance practices.
The team was comprised of NASA, contractor, and DOD personnel and examined
NASA practices, Shuttle anomalies, and civilian and military experience.”

The SIAT began work on October 4, 1999, and concluded their activities
with a written report, submitted to Mr. Rothenberg on March 7, 2000. The
SIAT focused their activities in the following technical areas: Avionics,
Human Factors, Hydraulics, Hypergolics and Auxiliary Power Unit, Problem
Reporting and Tracking Process, Propulsion, Risk Assessment and Management,
Safety and Mission Assurance, Software, Structures, and Wiring. The Team’s
goal was to bring to Shuttle maintenance and operations processes a perspective
from the best practices of the external aviation community. The Johnson
Space Center, the Lead Center for Human Space Flight and the Space Shuttle
Program, will provide a plan or response to the short term recommendations
in June. The Program’s responses to the intermediate and long-term recommendations
will follow in August and October, respectively. Four team recommendations
were reviewed and closed prior to return to flight in December 1999. The
FY 2001 budget includes significant increases for investments in Shuttle
safety that could be used to address these issues.

Human Space Flight Workforce

As NASA builds the ISS and supports the infrastructure and upgrades
to the Space Shuttle program as well as its Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV)
commitments over the next 5 years, the workload will increase steadily.
Internal and external workforce assessments have convinced NASA management
that civil service FTE targets at NASA’s Human Space Flight (HSF) Centers
must be adjusted. As mentioned earlier, from internal reviews, such as
the Core Capabilities Study, to external evaluations by the ASAP and the
Space Shuttle Independent Assessment (McDonald) Team, it became apparent
that the HSF workforce required immediate revitalization. Five years of
buyouts and downsizing have led to serious skill imbalances and an overtaxed
core workforce. As more people leave, the workload and stress remaining
increase, with a corresponding increase in the potential for impacts to
operational capacity and safety. HSF Centers will begin to accelerate hiring
in FY 2000, in order to address immediate critical skill shortfalls. After
the initial hiring of 500 new personnel across the four HSF Centers in
FY 2000, HSF workforce trends will begin a one-for-one replacement process
and will allow HSF Centers to attain a steady state in civil service employment
by FY 2001. We will continue to monitor HSF Center hires and attrition,
ensuring that workforce skill balances are achieved and maintained.

NASA will work with OMB in the coming months, to conduct a personnel
review with an eye towards the future. This review will assess management
tools and innovative approaches for personnel management that might best
equip NASA to evolve and adapt our civil service workforce in the future.
This will be particularly important as we continue our transition from
operations to a focus on advancing the frontier with cutting edge research
and development in science and technology.

Expendable Launch Vehicle Mission Support

NASA’s Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) team coordinated the launch of
10 ELV missions during the past year. The team supported launches from
Cape Canaveral Air Station, including the Mars Polar Lander in January,
Stardust spacecraft in February and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer
(FUSE) spacecraft in June. The NASA ELV team also supports launches from
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California making it a bi-coastal team. The
team supported the successful launch of ARGOS in February, the Wide-Field
Infrared Explorer (WIRE) spacecraft in March, Landsat 7 in April, the TERRIERS
satellite in May, the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) mission in June, and
the Terra and AcrimSat spacecrafts in December.

There are 2 launch services competitions in work this year. The NASA
Launch Services (NLS) acquisition providing launch services for future
NASA missions will be completed. These contracts provide for awards to
multiple suppliers with vehicles that have a demonstrated flight history.
Also, the Next Generation Launch Services (NGLS) acquisition will be initiated.
NGLS will enable competition for the emerging launch services companies
with little or no flight history to offer launch services to NASA. Last
year, I met with the CEOs of entrepreneurial startup companies, and NASA
has taken a number of steps to ensure that we can create an opportunity
for them to compete with the major launch companies. The ELV Mission support
budget for FY 2001 is $30.6 million. The FY 2001 budget provides funding
to support NASA’s intention to award as many as five indefinite delivery/indefinite
launch service contracts to provide launch opportunities for
university, science and technology payloads.

Space Operations (SOMO)

A new era in space communications began in January 1999, with the implementation
of the Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC). A major objective
of the CSOC is to reduce NASA’s space operations costs while continuing
to deliver high quality services. Operations performance has continued
to be of high quality in this first full year of the SCOC contract. With
respect to savings, in the FY 1998 budget to Congress, NASA reduced its
budget in anticipation of CSOC savings and we do not expect to see any
significant additional savings in the first few years of the contract.

Consistent with Congressional direction, NASA provided a CSOC commercialization
plan in November. The plan addresses the purchase of space communications
services from the private sector as well as the sale of available capacity
from our existing NASA capabilities. As an example of this commercialization
effort, CSOC is obtaining the use of commercial facilities to supplement
the current NASA polar ground network. Additionally, all wide area network
telecommunications are now being provided through commercial arrangements.
We will be conducting a vigorous effort in FY 2000 to increase the use
of emerging commercial capabilities to meet our space communications and
operations needs.

HEDS Technology/Commercialization Initiative

The Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Technology/Commercialization
Initiative (HTCI) will support studies, technology developments and demonstrations
that advance safe, affordable and effective future programs and projects
of human exploration and discovery, while advancing the commercial development
of space. The HTCI will pursue technologies and infrastructures for the
future human exploration of space that also support commercial space development
by making high-leverage investments that will enable progress toward innovative
systems concepts and breakthrough technologies.

Life and Microgravity Science and Applications

NASA’s Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications Program is a
partner in NASA’s Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Enterprise.
The program conducts ground- and space-based investigations to gain new
knowledge to advance the health and safety of the astronauts in space.
This interdisciplinary research will also increase the fundamental knowledge
of biological, physical, and chemical processes; enable the development
of space for human enterprise; and create new products and services. This
knowledge and new technologies will be transferred to the private and government
sectors as broadly as possible within the United States.

The FY2001 budget request of $302.4 million for Life and Microgravity
Sciences and Applications is 10% higher than FY 2000, and will support
a research base attracting new investigators (for a total of 986), as well
as expanding cooperation with other agencies. This program will take advantage
of the opportunities presented by the deployment of the Destiny laboratory
to the ISS and other opportunities to access space. Early in the assembly
phase of the ISS, research will concentrate on investigations taking advantage
of the Human Research Facility (HRF) and the EXPRESS racks. This research
will focus on identifying and improving the spacecraft environment, habitability
and crew health. To help maintain NASA’s research communities during the
ISS build-up, NASA plans to fly a research mission (STS-107) in early FY2001,
and use increased Shuttle middeck locker opportunities during Shuttle assembly

A new effort this year is the Bioastronautics Initiative, which will
significantly improve crew safety and health aboard the ISS, and further
strengthens research already underway to focus on the health, safety, and
performance of humans in space. This initiative will accelerate research
and development of solutions for diagnosis, therapy, prevention, and rehabilitation
of crew on long duration missions aboard the ISS.

The Life and Microgravity Science and Applications program has embarked
on a focused program to develop advanced technologies that are critical
for long-duration space flights to monitor and enhance human health, safety
and performance. This research in biologically inspired technology is being
fostered through dedicated NASA Research Announcements (NRAs). These fields
of research have great potential for application to health care issues
here on Earth. I have also established a formal collaboration with the
National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the area of biologically inspired technology.
This is part of the Bioastronautics initiative and is being led by the
NASA Chief Scientist.

A major portion of the Bioastronautics Initiative will support the National
Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). It is a consortium of 12 U.S.
medical research academic institutions led by Baylor College of Medicine.
These institutions and others will use the knowledge gained by working
with NASA to improve health maintenance and care for patients on Earth.
NASA is currently evaluating options for and benefits of integrating facilities
and capabilities where astronauts, medical professionals, scientists, engineers,
and operational specialists could interact as a team in accomplishing this
Bioastronautics Initiative.

NASA’s Life and Microgravity Science and Applications research and development
activities have also provided benefits in other areas such as improvements
for the visually impaired which have been advanc