27 March 2001
Announcements - Habitat (None)
ISS Congress releases station authority proposal
Operation of ISS needs to be turned over to unified body
by Peter Wainwright
International Space Station (ISS) is now the only human outpost in space, and the Space Frontier Foundation has been busy soliciting contributions and input for a new proposal to reform the way in which it is run. After integrating initial feedback, the proposal is now online at the website of the newly formed International Space Station Congress: www.isscongress.org. The proposal itself can be found here.

Like it, or loathe it, ISS is now a fact of life. But in its current form, and with its current operators - the space agencies - in control, it is unlikely to fulfil the commercial aspirations of companies wanting to do business there. The ISSC proposes a 'Port Authority' model, but will NASA and co. buy it? Not without a fight, we suspect....

Press Release

Space Frontier Foundation Calls For Civic Authority

Citing reports of multi-billion dollar cost over-runs, and decisions to cut back the size and capability of International Space Station Alpha, Space Frontier Foundation today called for the ISS partners to create a civic authority, much like those used to operate seaports and airports.

Rick Tumlinson, President of the Foundation, explained. "Just as the
station is becoming operational in space, politicians and bureaucrats on Earth are cutting back the facility. Alpha needs new management that is removed from parochial interests and political gamesmanship."

Like an airport or seaport, Alpha has many dangerous and diverse things going on, yet has to be safe and profitable for all involved. It also has to be a step removed from politics, to avoid becoming a pawn in international affairs and budget swings.

"These are not new problems," remarked Bob Werb of the International
Space Station Congress. "We confront numerous similar situations here on Earth. Human nature and good organizational structure are the same everywhere, even in space."

The Foundation believes an International Space Station Authority (ISSA) will provide the right mix of basic day-to-day landlord-type functions, dispute resolution and safety enforcement needed to turn the ISS into a productive location for a wide range of activities.

Tumlinson added, "scientists and businessmen both need consistency and
stability if they are to work effectively. The space agencies of the world need to hand Alpha to a new management team that can establish routine operations, so they can get back to the business of exploring, or ISS is going to weigh them down for years to come."

The Space Frontier Foundation is proud to join with the International
Space Station Congress in stimulating global discussions about how to best manage the International Space Station. Please visit www.isscongress.org to learn about this remarkable effort and to learn more about the proposed ISS Authority.
Source: International Space Station Congress

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Peter Wainwright 27 March 2001
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