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An artist's rendition of the International Space Station, which is scheduled for completion in 2004. The largest man-made object ever to orbit Earth, ISS will weigh 470 tons, span 356 feet (109 meters), and house (at various times) astronauts from 16 nations.

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  Where Now, NASA?

As "Working the Space Station" recounts, NASA seems to be putting nearly all its eggs in one very expensive basket: the International Space Station (ISS). The first bits were deployed last winter, but before "launching a single nut, bolt, antenna, or toilet," the eight billion U.S. dollars originally budgeted was gone—with an estimated 21 billion still to be spent.

NASA visionaries see ISS as "an orbiting state-of-the art science laboratory" that "is going to change not only the way we do science and medicine, but the way we live." But is ISS the best use of the United States' space dollars?

Where should NASA be boldly going? To the space station? To Mars? You tell us.

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