OK, so I read this, and the steam that shot out of my ears took the fresh paint off the wall of the kitchen on both sides of the room:
His committee recommended that NASA and the other ISS partners should plan for ways to operate the station with a reduced crew if commercial crew vehicles aren’t ready to enter service by the fall of 2019.
“Given these schedule risks, we recommend the partnership pursue plans to protect for a minimum crew capability to ensure ISS viability during the flight development phase,” he said. “NASA’s biggest priority is maintaining the U.S. presence on the ISS in case the commercial crew launch dates slip.”
One option he mentioned at the meeting is “providing training to Russian crewmembers on the USOS critical systems.” That training, he said, would be provided to cosmonauts scheduled to fly to the station on Soyuz missions in September 2019 and March 2020.
So, let me get this straight: In order to avoid any risk of loss of crew (and there is no way to do that), we are going to not only make ourselves more dependent on the Russians, but further reduce, if not eliminate any actual utility we’re going to get out of a facility in which we’ve invested over a hundred billion dollars and, as a bonus, put that facility at risk.
All because “safety is the highest priority.”
This is insane.