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Reevaluating the Process: An Assessment of the Iran Nonproliferation Act and its Impact on the International Space Station Program

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Master's thesis

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The Iran Nonproliferation Act INA was introduced on May 20, 1999 in the House International Relations Committee by Chairman Gilman, unanimously passed by Congress as HR-1883 and signed into law March 14, 2000. The Act was designed to be used as leverage in the United States relationship with Russia on the International Space Station ISS. The hope was to dissuade Russia from cooperating and assisting Iran with its nuclear program and what the U.S. thought were nuclear-weapon ambitions. The Act specifically restricts U.S. funding to Russia by limiting all purchases of goods and services for the ISS to those that were agreed upon before the Acts passing or those that are required in the event of an emergency that risks crew safety. NASA is supportive of the Iran Nonproliferation Act but is concerned about the agencys ability to carry out normal operations while fulfilling the original U.S.Russian ISS agreement following funding and policy changes since 1999. The combined effects of the 2002 deletion of the X-38 based Crew Rescue Vehicle from the Program, the 2003 Columbia tragedy and the introduction in 2004 of the Vision for Exploration that includes retiring the Space Shuttle by 2010 have dramatically increased the need to rely on the Russian Federal Space Agency FSA or Roskosmos for critical services. Absent an agreed non-legislative solution between the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government or a change in policy, both the International Space Station and international exploration activities will be severely impacted and limited.

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  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Manned Spacecraft
  • Government and Political Science

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