Save the International Space Station from NASA plans deorbit inin 2016!

· It was reported recently that NASA plans to “de-orbit" the International Space Station (ISS) “In the first quarter of 2016…”

· This is only FIVE YEARS after the final module is scheduled to be installed in 2011! Total construction costs over the 20 year project life for the ISS are estimated to be about $100 billion, with the US funding estimated at $31 billion.

· To de-orbit the ISS so soon after its completion is a colossal waste and a slap in the face of every American citizen who has helped fund the US portion this great enterprise.  


The persons who sign this petition urge the leaders of the NASA, President Obama, and the Congress to reject this ill-conceived, wasteful, and abysmally short-sighted decision to de-orbit the ISS by 2016, and to provide for full support and full utilization of the ISS, and clear direction for USA leadership for successful space exploration in the future.

To:       * Michael T. Suffredini, N


   NASA's space station program manager


* Charles Bolden, Charles F. Bolden, Jr.


   (Brig. General, USMC)


   (President Barack Obama's nominee to head NASA)


* President Obama


* The Congress



About 18 years ago, the first two modules of the International Space Station (ISS) were joined in orbit.  It has had a human crew presence since 2000.  It is strange that as this petition was being written, one of the last few space shuttle missions, delivered one of the last major components for installation on the ISS. It was reported recently in the Washington Post newspaper [1] that, " %u2018In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and de-orbit the spacecraft (AKA the ISS),%u2019 says NASA's space station program manager, Michael T. Suffredini.%u201D This is only FIVE YEARS after the final module is installed in 2011! Total construction costs are estimated to be about $100 billion, with the US funding estimated at $31 billion. The original NASA meeting minutes are clear [2] that the reason for this is the shutdown of the STS shuttle missions without timely preparation of a suitable replacement for delivery of required cargo and personnel, AKA really bad planning.  To de-orbit the ISS so soon after its completion is a colossal waste and a slap in the face of every American citizen, and world citizen who has helped fund the US portion this great enterprise.  


Space exploration and utilization is a critical component to technological development, enabling research supporting the protection of earth ecosystems, and the development of new sources of energy and materials.

The persons who sign this petition urge the leaders of the NASA, the State of Louisiana, and this country to reject this ill-conceived, wasteful, and abysmally short-sighted decision to de-orbit the ISS by 2016, and to provide for full support and full utilization of the ISS, and clear direction for USA leadership for successful space exploration in the future. 
_____________________________________________________________________________________


[1] Achenbach, Joel. %u201CSpace Station Is Near Completion, Maybe the End: Plan to 'De-Orbit' in 2016 Is Criticized%u201D, Washington Post, Monday, July 13, 2009.


URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/12/AR2009071201977.html?referrer=emailarticle


[2] NASA. %u201CMEETING MINUTES, "REVIEW OF U.S. HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT PLANS COMMITTEE%u201D, Public Meeting, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, D.C., June 17, 2009, 9:00 a.m., reported by Jana Mulhollan, Registered Professional Reporter, Valador, Inc. pp. 263-290,  URL: http://www.nasa.gov/365627main_0617NASAMeeting.txt
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