Rep. Hall: ReMaP Report Undercuts OMB's Space Station Plan
Rep. Ralph M. Hall (D-TX), Ranking Democratic Member of the House Science Committee, today issued the following statement on the just-released Space Station Research Maximization and Prioritization (ReMaP) Task Force report:
"I first want to thank the members of the Task Force for their dedicated service to the Nation, and I am heartened by their finding that the International Space Station 'is unprecedented as a laboratory and is the only available vehicle for human tended research on long-duration effects of microgravity.' I note that the Task Force was unable to prioritize between high priority research to enable human space exploration and high priority research of intrinsic scientific merit. Neither was the Task Force able to prioritize between high priority biological research and high priority physical research. In essence, they have concluded that the International Space Station is a multi-use facility with no lack of high-quality research objectives to pursue - something that Space Station supporters have known for a long time. The Task Force’s report also makes it clear that the 'Core Complete' configuration and Shuttle flight rate mandated by OMB would severely restrict the Station’s research productivity - a finding confirmed by NASA’s own analyses.
"A year and a half has now passed since OMB decimated the Space Station’s research budget, cut the crew size from 7 to 3, and eliminated the U.S. crew rescue vehicle and habitation module. I warned a year and a half ago of the negative consequences of those cuts for our ability to deliver a Space Station worthy of the taxpayer dollars already invested in it. Now those warnings have been confirmed by the ReMaP Task Force’s report. It is past time for the NASA Administrator to stop pretending that a 'Core Complete' Space Station is a viable or a desirable goal for the Nation and our International Partners. It is neither. OMB’s approach will waste both time and money over the long run while failing to realize the unique potential of this international research facility. I call on the NASA Administrator to commit publicly to restoring the 7-person crew size and research capabilities of the Space Station as well as to rescind his cancellation of the U.S. Crew Return Vehicle program and work to deliver a U.S. CRV by the end of 2005 as originally planned. We have delayed long enough."