White House Calls For End to ISS Funding in 2025

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The ISS theoretically doesn't have long left in its engine, and is due to be inoperable by 2028, but cutting off NASA's funding by 2025 could lead to other worldwide space organisations following suit, meaning that the commercial sector would have to take control of the ISS in the interim. The latter option requires freeing up funding, some of which could come from a U.S. withdrawal from the ISS.

The report mentions that the ISS' end of operational lifetime is set to happen in 2028, and commercial space companies and researchers would like Nasa to continue funding it till then.

The news outlet Geek attempted to obtain a comment from NASA, but only received the response that NASA and the International Space Station partnership "is committed to full scientific and technical research on the orbiting laboratory, as it is the foundation on which we will extend human presence deeper into space". The Office of Management and Budget announced January 24 that the fiscal year 2019 budget proposal will be released no earlier than February 12, one week later than planned due to the aftereffects of the government shutdown from January 20 through 22. Barack Obama's administration approved an extension of the space station until at least 2024. If NASA pulls its support for the station, it is unclear how these global partners will respond regarding continued ISS operation.

NASA, in turn, has said they won't comment on the budget request until it is released.

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As the ISS de-orbits, the world will be in need a of a new space station; Axiom is taking on this challenge, creating the first worldwide commercial space station to host government astronauts, private companies, and individual explorers alike.

Nelson said ending ISS operations in 2025 "would likely decimate Florida's blossoming commercial space industry", a reference to the commercial cargo and future commercial crew launches that will take place from Cape Canaveral as well as support for ISS research.

Two other companies, Axiom, and Nanoracks, are planning commercial space stations. Companies like Bigelow and Axiom need to start developing private markets, everything from space tourism to manufacturing products in microgravity.

The bottom line is that NASA does not have the funding to pay for the enormous Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the Orion crew spacecraft, the Deep Space Gateway (DSG), and continue funding the ISS. One of them is even attached to the station now, as a test site.

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