human exploration program is affordable because the shuttle will be retired and the operations of the ISS will be refocused on identifying and solving problems associated with long-duration human spaceflight missions.
The importance of retiring the shuttle and focusing ISS research in the most cost-effective way cannot be overemphasized. Concerns with costs underscore the need for a compelling plan for the science that can be accomplished only with the ISS. NASA’s goals to continue exploration of the universe through its robotic science missions, and now to move forward with human exploration, will require expanded resources. It is difficult to imagine a budget for NASA that will allow it both to accommodate its past and to pursue its future. The committee believes that the burdens of NASA’s past that do not support the future should be eliminated as soon as possible.