WH Funds Draft Ends Area Station Funding by 2025


Trump revived the National Space Council with Vice President Mike Pence as its head in part to redirect NASA toward sending humans back to the moon for the first time in decades.

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. That means by 2024 the United States will have spent around $115 billion.

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.

"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 official budget proposal will be released on February 12, and it will be reviewed by the Congress, who will have the final decision on the budget. The White House plans to end NASA's funding for ISS by 2025, according to a draft 2019 budget proposal seen by the Verge.

Under President Obama's administration, Congress approved funding for the space station until 2024.

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When the agency was asked about the budget proposal, a representative of NASA reiterated its commitment to the ISS without commenting on the leaked document. After that, the future of the 20 year International Space Station is up in the air. Companies like SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada Corp are paid billions to fly cargo and supplies there.

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.

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.

Several companies, including Axiom Space, Bigelow Aerospace and NanoRacks have proposed developing commercial stations, in some cases starting with commercial modules on the ISS. Many of NASA's partners are not now signed on to continue supporting our space program past 2024 with the help of an Obama-era extension, and this budget proposal doesn't exactly encourage them to continue the relationship.

"It's one thing to say this is the last space station that will be owned and operated by the federal government", Manber said.