Trump Administration May End NASA Funding for ISS by 2025


Space is harsh, the International Space Station is getting old and the astronauts on board are continually doing repairs.

Recently, there has been concerns that the administration plans to stick to Obama's timeline and stop funding for the station in 2024. Sen.

As of now, the USA government spends about $3bn (£2.1bn) to $4bn a year on the ISS, representing a total investment of over $87bn in the project that has spanned over 20 years now. 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.

A draft budget produced by the Trump administration suggests that funding for the International Space Station will end in 2025.

The White House isn't planning on releasing its budget until February 12, so exact details are sketchy, and the National Space Council declined to comment.

A draft budget document for the agency's fiscal year 2019 budget proposal calls for "ending direct federal government support of the ISS by 2025" as one of several items meant to implement Space Policy Directive 1, the executive order signed by President Trump Dec. 11 directing NASA to return humans to the moon.

US President Donald Trump did sign a bill in March 2017 regarding transitioning ISS away from Nasa authority and funding, but the agency has not released information on that and has not responded to a request for comment on the matter as yet.

For more than a decade, White House officials have struggled with the tension between continuing to spend roughly $4 billion annually on the International Space Station and shifting some or all of that money to boost space travel beyond Earth orbit.

Yet as The Verge noted, ending support too early could lead to "a gap of human activities in lower Earth orbit", with fewer opportunities to train astronauts, test new systems, and carry out research on long-term human survival in space. The commercial sector has encouraged NASA to extend operations to 2028, after which the ISS could be taken over by private companies.

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

According to The Verge, commercial companies like SpaceX and Boeing have said they would likely not be able build orbiting modules by the time funding for the ISS runs out in 2024. "What also is a fact is the ISS is still the only game in town that we have at the moment".