From Aviationweek.com 2006 December

NASA is seeking information from industry about the feasibility of launching an additional unmanned cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2009 to make up for an anticipated shortfall in dry cargo deliveries.

An analysis of the station's cargo needs versus scheduled deliveries has determined that the outpost will be left 54.4 metric tons short on dry cargo logistics - which includes food and other supplies but not propellant - from the period 2009-2015.

Although NASA is already preparing to fill the gap through its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, routine deliveries to the ISS by COTS suppliers would not begin until the next decade. The anticipated shortfall in 2009 is two metric tons, and can't be made up by the space shuttle, according to NASA.

The additional flight would have to deliver 2,000 kilograms (4,409 pounds) of dry cargo, and be able to take an equivalent volume of trash off the station when it undocks, as Russia's unmanned Progress spacecraft currently does. The vehicle would have to dock with the ISS for at least 30 days and be ready by April 2009.

For Phase I of COTS, Rocketplane Kistler and SpaceX each will conduct three test flights beginning in 2008 and wrapping up in 2009 with a trip to the ISS (DAILY, Aug. 21). For COTS Phase II, NASA will release a request for proposals (RFP) for routine operational resupply of the space station.

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Topics of Interest

NASA will base U.S. resupply of the International Space Station on the untried vehicles of the Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program, and will not buy cargo services from Russia...

NASA will base U.S. resupply of the International Space Station on the untried vehicles of the Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program, and will not buy cargo services from Russia...

The International Space Station program is recalculating the amount of time it can support a stranded shuttle crew in the event of an emergency, due to the continued failure of the Elektron oxygen...

'SKIN IN THE GAME' Incoming NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin wants to buy crew and cargo deliveries to and from the International Space Station as soon as he can from private commercial providers...

'SKIN IN THE GAME' Incoming NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin wants to buy crew and cargo deliveries to and from the International Space Station as soon as he can from private commercial providers...