Space station safety report is issued

February 27, 2007

The International Space Station Safety Task Force issued its final report Tuesday, giving good marks to station safety and crew health issues.

The congressionally mandated task force was charged with reviewing the ISS program to assess potential vulnerabilities that could threaten the station or its crew or lead to it being prematurely abandoned.

The report found the space station program is a robust and sound one with respect to safety and crew health.

"Safety and crew health issues are well documented and acceptable, and are either currently adequately controlled or mitigations are being developed to maintain acceptable risk levels," inspectors wrote.

However, the task force said the ISS program should place the highest priority on options to decrease the risk of collisions with micrometeoroid and orbital debris.

The task force also called on the United States to support funding of "approximately $1 billion a year above current allocations to ensure that adequate logistics and spares are available to maintain a viable station."

The ISS program is an international partnership comprised of the United States, Russia, Canada, the members of the European Space Agency and Japan.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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