MCB joint statement representing common views on the future of the ISS

issAt a meeting on February 3, 2010, the representatives of the International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) unanimously reaffirmed their strong interest in maximizing the benefits from utilization of the ISS.

Consistent with previous direction from the ISS Heads of Agency regarding the future of the ISS, the MCB also confirmed that there are no identified technical constraints to continuing ISS operations beyond 2015 and the MCB representatives are prepared to begin implementation of such a decision when it is taken, Roscosmos says.

The MCB recalled strong support to its continuation from the Augustine Committee. The MCB also noted that the U.S. Administration’s 2011 NASA budget submission continues the ISS to at least 2020 and expands efforts to utilize this unique platform for scientific, technological, and educational purposes by increasing the ISS budget by $2B over four years. The MCB representatives committed to continue to undertake the necessary procedures within their respective governments toward a final decision, in a timely manner, regarding the continuation of the ISS to the next decade.

The MCB representatives noted that ISS continuation could bring great benefit to all Partners and humankind by demonstrating significant and sustained return on the Partnership’s investment in the ISS program primarily through the enhanced research and utilization opportunities. The partners also reaffirmed the necessity to investigate ways to improve ISS utilization productivity and operational efficiency by all possible means.

Having successfully achieved an increase in the ISS crew from 3 to 6 in May 2009 and with ISS assembly nearing completion, the MCB representatives were in agreement that the full exploitation of the Station’s scientific, engineering, and education development potential is of the highest priority including the enhanced use of this microgravity research laboratory to drive advanced science and technology that will deliver benefits to humanity, while preparing the way for future collaboration on international space exploration missions.

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