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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Space Frontier Foundation Congratulates NASA, Russian Space Agency on Opening of International Space Station – Calls for New Management

ISS in September of 2000
The International Space Station in September of 2000. Photo courtesy NASA.
Los Angeles, CA, November 1, 2000
The Space Frontier Foundation congratulated NASA and the Russian Aerospace Agency today for the launch of the first crew to the International Space Station (ISS), and called for an international commission to be formed to begin moving the station out of NASA's control, and into the private sector.

"We are pleased to see the ISS finally beginning to operate, and congratulate NASA and RSA for a successful launch," stated Foundation President Rick Tumlinson. "Now NASA, as the dominant force in ISS, has the chance to hand space to the people who paid for it. They need to get out of the building management business, get back to exploring and facilitate a transfer of the station to a civic authority for its operations ASAP."

Based on its history trying to build the facility, which is tens of billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule, and its repeated attempts to stifle or kill what it perceives as competing private sector initiatives, the Foundation does not believe that NASA is the right organization to run ISS.

The group is calling for the formation of a non-biased commercially oriented International Space Station Authority to take over its day to day operations as soon as possible. Instead of being a landlord, the Foundation is calling for the next president to put the space agency back on track as the world's premiere exploration team.

"NASA is clueless about how to efficiently and fairly run this facility. They're not interested in anything but their own budget, people and programs," stated Tumlinson. "Worse, as they have shown with the commercial Mir station down the orbital street, they will try and destroy or sabotage any projects that are actually better, cheaper and faster than their own. If left in charge of ISS, NASA will actually inhibit the opening of space, not help it."

The Foundation has long called for NASA to get out of the Near Frontier around the Earth and get back to exploring. It sees the ISS as an albatross around NASA's neck, and wants money the agency saves by privatizing the ISS and shuttle to go into a vastly expanded program of exploration and science.

The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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