Los Angeles, CA, March 15, 2001 – Citing reports of multi-billion dollar cost overruns and decisions to cut back the size and capability of International Space Station Alpha, the 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, explains, “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.
The Foundation has been a vocal leader in the fight for opening space to the people for over ten years.