NASA does not plan to use it's space shuttle for any purpose other than servicing the ISS. As the ISS becomes more massive, the cost of orbital station-keeping becomes increasingly large. The ISS has no way of providing in-situ resource utilization other than from sunlight. The ISS is a huge contributior to emission of toxic greenhouse gases which cause global warming.
NASA delayed or cancelled missions to the moon and mars in order to pay for the ISS. It is therefore debatable whether the ISS, as distinct from the wider space program, will be a major contributor to society.
The time and money spent on the ISS could be better spent on other projects such as robotic spacecraft missions, space exploration, investigations of problems here on Earth, and education. Dr. Robert L. Park, argued that very little scientific research was convincingly planned for the ISS in the first place. Dr. Jeff Foust argued that the ISS requires too much maintenance, especially by risky, expensive EVAs. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has mentioned that its orbit is rather highly inclined, which makes Russian launches cheaper, but US launches more expensive. This choice may have increased the costs of completing the ISS substantially.
- NASA (2010). "NASA's Budget". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
- NASA (2010). "ISS NASA". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
- NASA (2010). "NASA Launch Schedule". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved May 2, 2009.
- RSC Energia (2005). "Interview with Niolai (sic) Sevostianov, President, RSC Energia: The mission to Mars is to be international". Mars Today.com/SpaceRef Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Mail & Guardian. "A waste of space". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- Park, Bob. "Space Station: Maybe They Could Use It to Test Missile Defense". Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Park, Bob. "Space: International Space Station Unfurls New Solar Panels". Retrieved 2007-06-15.
- Jeff Foust (2005). "The trouble with space stations". The Space Review. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- James J. Secosky, George Musser (1996). "Up, Up, and Away". Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Retrieved September 10, 2006.