Trump Administration May End Funding For The International Space Station

Now the two-decades old International Space Station program, which provides NASA with its only base in space, is likely up on the chopping block.

NASA already has begun talks with space station partners on the cislunar outpost known as the Deep Space Gateway, which is likely to be built in cooperation with Russian Federation and other nations.

If the Deep Space Gateway program falls behind schedule, ending operations on the ISS prematurely could lead to a gap in USA access to space.

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.

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The US is committed to providing $US3-4 billion ($3.7-4.9 billion) funding towards the ISS through the year 2024. We will not comment on any leaked or pre-decisional documents prior to the release of the President's FY19 budget, which is scheduled for February 12."A necessary worldwide orbital laboratory The ISS can be home for up to six people at a time, and astronauts have lived in space every day since 2000, conducting research that could not be done on Earth".

As described by The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets, the White House's draft spending proposal for fiscal year 2019 would call for ending direct funding for space station operations by 2025 and transitioning to commercial provision of spaceflight capabilities in low Earth orbit.

An extension to the Station's funding in 2014 means that it will remain in operation to 2024, but its fate after that is ambiguous, with no firm decision from Congress.

NASA did not comment on the leaked budget proposal but said that the partnership between NASA and the ISS continues.

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An artist's rendering shows Sierra Nevada Corp.'s concept for a deep-space habitat.

The plan is already generating opposition from those who want to leave the door open for continued government involvement in the space station beyond 2025, including Sen. But according to The Verge, "canceling the ISS too early without a viable replacement could lead to a gap of human activities in lower Earth orbit". Companies like Bigelow and Axiom need to start developing private markets, everything from space tourism to manufacturing products in microgravity.

"There's no question the ISS is a huge financial albatross around NASA's neck", he said. One of them is even attached to the station now, as a test site. Some in industry have said they expect the administration to unveil a plan to involve commercial entities in a deep space mission, aimed at the moon. "What also is a fact is the ISS is still the only game in town that we have at the moment".

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