Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate: S. 3103: International Space Station Payments Act of 2008   [open pdf - 14KB]

"S. 3103 would extend the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) authority to make payments to Russia, and under certain circumstances, to transport U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA's authority to make such payments expires on December 31, 2011. The bill would extend the authority until Orion (NASA's future space vehicle) or a similar U.S. commercial vehicle is available. Because NASA plans to retire its space shuttle at the end of 2010, the agency plans to use alternative means to transport crews to the ISS until new NASA vehicles are developed. Based on information provided by NASA, CBO estimates that NASA would make payments to Russia of about $330 million over the 2012-2013 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds for the transportation of six U.S. astronauts to the ISS each year. Enacting S. 3103 would not affect direct spending or revenues. S. 3103 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments."

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