Trump administration wants to end ISS funding in 2025

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The president's official budget for fiscal year 2019 is scheduled to be released next month, but a draft proposal, seen by The Verge, would call for USA support for the program, which has been in place for more than 20 years, to end.

The document is not the official administration release of the budget.

The official budget request is set to be released on February 12. However, one key member of Congress is already pushing back against the draft proposal.

The ISS has been used by both government and commercial agencies in the two decades it's been operational, and is jointly managed by Canadian, European, Russian, Japanese and USA space agencies to test out things like the microgravity environment.

Nelson, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, that oversees NASA, had harsh words for any proposal which would eliminate the space agency's most successful program.

The White House has said repeatedly that it intends to recommit the nation to space exploration, in partnership with the private sector and the worldwide community.

The first components for the ISS were launched two decades ago, in 1998, and it is expected to remain in operation until 2028.


Those more ambitious programs such as a moon base or sending humans to Mars would also require resources far more extensive than would be freed up by simply discontinuing NASA's ISS funding, and are unlikely to materialise in the form of government funding in the current political climate. The report was due to be placed with Congress by December a year ago, but it is not clear as to whether it was submitted or not.

A NASA spokesperson would not comment to The Verge about the report.

Multiple countries with a presence on the satellite share the costs to raise the funding for the International Space Station, and the backing out of a country as large and wealthy as the United States would be a major problem when it comes to keeping the station afloat.

I think we may be living in 1969...or something.

The goal of the bill was to free up the $3-4bn a year Nasa spends on ISS - a total of $87bn U.S. investment - to develop Nasa's own spacecraft and research capabilities. Considering that commercial programmes from SpaceX and Boeing won't be ready to send their own astronauts to the ISS until 2019 at the earliest, and that it will only give commercial companies five years to conduct flight runs, lower-Earth space exploration looks very precarious indeed.

Recently, there has been concerns that the administration plans to stick to Obama's timeline and stop funding for the station in 2024. Sen. In an interview, Bob Bigelow, the company's chief executive, said that he plans to launch two space habitats to low Earth orbit by 2021. It's not clear yet if this proposal would accommodate commercial modules as part of any transition. Commercial spaceflight companies don't want to see the station lose funding too soon, because they could then lose access to one of their primary test sites.

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