Trump administration plans to cut funding to International Space Station

Pablo Tucker
January 26, 2018

Currently NASA relies on the Russian Space Agency to launch its astronauts to the space station and bring them home.

White House budget plans are zeroing in on zeroing out federal funding for the International Space Station by 2025, to free up money for a Deep Space Gateway in lunar orbit.

NASA did not respond to the news outlet's request for comment about the report. Although only a draft, the final version will be released on February 12. As per the law, before finalizing any budget related proposals from the administration, it will first go under the Congress verification and approval of the budget. Many partners at NASA have yet to decide if they would continue working with the station after the year 2024.

NASA spends about $4 billion annually to support the International Space Station and its astronauts living there, and the agency spent almost $100 billion over more than a decade to construct the station.

Canceling funding for the ISS would be devastating for NASA's worldwide relationships, the space program and many scientists who rely on the orbiting laboratory to conduct experiments and testing in low gravity.

As per the record, per year the USA government is spending around $3 billion to $4billion years on the International Space Station.

NASA alone pays between $3 billion and $4 billion each year, and will continue doing so through 2024, thanks to an Obama-era extension. Numerous commercial space agencies want the ISS to run its course till 2028 after which the operational lifetime for the space station shall end.

The NASA Transition Authorization Act that Trump signed past year directed the agency to come up with a way to transition the space station away from mostly NASA funding.

The event marked the 206th spacewalk conducted by ISS astronauts in support of the station's assembly and maintenance.

The International Space Station-a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit-has been circling us for two decades, and is expected to be used for another ten years, at least. The report also mentioned that commercial companies might not be able to prepare for such a mission within 2024.

The report was due to Congress by December 1, 2017, but NASA has not released any information as to whether it had delivered it.

Congress has discussed what to do with the ISS after its funding dries out, but it has not made a firm decision on a plan, according to the report.

Despite the possible demise of the ISS, Congress and others remain eager to develop hardware needed to explore deep space.

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