The task group unanimously agreed that a fully equipped ISS as defined in Rev. F—including adequate crew support, electrical power, and experiment accommodations—is needed if NASA’s stated scientific ISS goals are to be realized. If ISS capabilities were to be reduced (as in proposed Rev. G) and there were no annual shuttle flights dedicated to microgravity research, then the viability of the overall program of research in microgravity would be seriously jeopardized, as would be the ability of NASA to achieve its stated scientific goals for the ISS. If it becomes apparent that the ISS will not be available for microgravity research by the beginning of FY 2006, then annual shuttle flights dedicated to microgravity experiments should be made a part of the program. Beginning 2 years ahead, in FY 2004, plans to use the shuttle should be integrated into the overall NASA mission planning. These recommendations all assume that space shuttle microgravity missions STS-107 and STS-123 (R2), planned for 2002 and 2004, respectively, are conducted as scheduled. And, finally, the activities defined above should not be accomplished in a manner that would jeopardize the sustainability and readiness of the microgravity research program.

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