Mixed response to smaller space station


  • Lynn Teo Simarski


The newly restructured space station Freedom made headlines in March, as supporters and opponents debated the plan for a scaled-down station, carrying on the controversy engendered by the station over its 8-year, $4 billion history.

Last October, Congress directed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to reduce the station's cost by $6 billion over 5 years. “The new design is cheaper, smaller, easier to assemble in orbit, and will require fewer shuttle flights to build,” NASA announced. The agency's international partners on the station—the European Space Agency, Japan, and Canada—have supported the new model.