Manned Space Station

(Adopted by Council on January 20, 1991)

The Council of the American Physical Society is concerned that there remains widespread public and governmental misunderstanding of the justification for the Manned Space Station. After a review of the experimental program proposed for the Space Station the Council is issuing the following statement:

It is the view of the Council of the American Physical Society that scientific justification is lacking for a permanently manned space station in earth orbit. We are concerned that the potential contributions of a manned space station to the physical sciences have been greatly overstated and that many of the scientific objectives currently planned for the space station could be accomplished more effectively and at a much lower cost on earth, on unmanned robotic platforms, or on the shuttle.

The United States needs a vigorous space science program, but such a program can be implemented for the foreseeable future without the proposed manned space station.