Space Station:

Impact of the Expanded Russian Role on Funding and Research

NSIAD-94-220: Published: Jun 21, 1994. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed whether Russian participation in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) space station program will: (1) reduce costs; and (2) increase the space station's research capabilities.

GAO found that: (1) the overall impact of expanded Russian involvement in the space station program will not be known for several months; (2) much of the savings resulting from Russian participation in the space station program will be offset by increased funding requirements; (3) some of the estimated savings may not be attributable to Russian participation; (4) current estimates indicate that much of the savings attributed to expanded Russian participation will not be achieved and expanded Russian involvement could result in little or no net savings; (5) Russian participation in the space station program will substantially increase overall station research resources; (6) although Russian participation will increase near-term research opportunities and accelerate the station's assembly schedule, the degree to which the U.S. research community will benefit from these increased capabilities has yet to be determined; and (7) NASA needs to finish negotiations among all space station partners, ensure the equitable distribution of research resources, and fully assess the impact of increased Russian participation.

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