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article imageTrump wants to withdraw funding for International Space Station

By Karen Graham     Jan 25, 2018 in Politics
It has been learned the Trump administration is preparing to end support for the International Space Station (ISS) program by 2025, to free up resources for higher priority, deep space missions such as Mars.
The news came to light when The Verge reviewed a draft budget proposal officially due to be released on February 12th. Two people familiar with the matter confirmed the directive will be in the final proposal, but it will still have to be passed by Congress.
In an audit report by the Office of Inspector General, dated January 11, 2018, it was stated that NASA was expecting to spend between $3 and $4 billion annually to support the ISS operations through 2024.
Since 1993, the United States has spent almost $87 billion to build and operate the ISS. All that money has been put to good use, enabling NASA and partners to perform novel science while sustaining commercial activities. The ISS was, and is a collaborative effort by NASA and space agencies from Russia, Japan, the European Union, and Canada.
As the ISS de-orbits  the world will be in need a of a new space station; Axiom is taking on this ch...
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 international commercial space station to host government astronauts, private companies, and individual explorers alike.
Axiom Space
NASA, in turn, has said they won't comment on the budget request until it is released. A NASA spokesperson did release a statement to The Verge, saying: “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. 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 international 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. Over 100 science experiments have been conducted on the ISS, ranging from bone experiments to more recently, experiments to see how seeds respond to zero-gravity.
ZME Science cites the experiments that show how microgravity influences the human body and its biology, appearing to alter brain structure, switching genes on and off, triggering impairing vision and causing muscle atrophy.
The shuttle Endeavor docked at the ISS. This photo was taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nesp...
The shuttle Endeavor docked at the ISS. This photo was taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking on May 23, 2011.
NASA / Paolo Nespoli
In 2014, NASA pledged to keep the ISS open, thanks to the Obama Administration extending funding through 2014. After 2024, what happens to ISS is anyone's guess. Congress has actually discussed the problem, but no concrete decisions have been made. The problem is this - Many commercial space companies want NASA to continue funding the ISS through 2028, the year many people consider to be the end of the useful life of the station.
Not only would a 2028 dateline be sensible, but it would give NASA and all other parties involved time to transition activities to an Earth-bound facility or even allow time for commercial space companies to establish a commercial station in low-Earth orbit. But, commercial companies are already saying they won't be ready to do this by 2024.
More about NASA, Iss, Funding, Trump, budget request
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