International Space Station gets six more years of operation

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The Biden administration has extended the operations of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2030, giving him another six years before his planned retirement.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement Friday evening that a commitment had been made to work with European, Japanese, Canadian and Russian space agencies to “enable the continuation of the groundbreaking research being carried out in this laboratory in single orbit for the remainder of the decade. . “

In-orbit construction of the ISS began in 1998, symbolizing cooperation between international partners to ensure consistent scientific exploration and experimentation in space.

“The International Space Station is a beacon of peaceful international scientific collaboration and, for more than 20 years, has enabled tremendous scientific, educational and technological developments for the benefit of humanity,” said Nelson. “I am delighted that the Biden-Harris administration has made a commitment to continue the station’s operations until 2030.” Nelson said.

This is the second new life for the Orbiting Outpost. Initially, the ISS was supposed to be retired in 2015, but operations were then extended until the end of 2024.

“The continued United States participation in the ISS will enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as the research and technology needed to send the first woman and the first person of color to the moon as part of the Artemis program of the NASA and will pave the way for sending the first humans to Mars, ”he said.

“As more nations are active in space, it is more important than ever that the United States continue to lead the world in growing international alliances and model rules and standards for use. peaceful and responsible for space. “

Over the past 20 years, the ISS has hosted more than 3,000 research projects. The station provided the United States with a destination for a constant human presence in space.

According to NASA, the expansion of ISS operations “will continue another productive decade of research progress and allow a seamless transition of low Earth orbit capabilities to one or more commercially owned and operated destinations in the late 2020s. “.

A report last year from the Office of the Inspector General of NASA indicates that the structural lifespan of the US segment of the ISS has been certified until 2028 and the Russian segment until 2024. “Operation The station’s continued operation requires expensive maintenance and system upgrades, ”the report says.

The next space station

While the ISS is expected to retire in 2030, its successor has already been chosen. Last month, NASA chose Blue Origin and Sierra Space to design a commercial low-earth orbit (LEO) space station.

The station, Orbital Reef, is slated to be a “mixed-use business park” that would host opportunities for small countries and organizations.

“In addition to meeting the needs of the ISS partners, the Orbital Reef mixed-use space business park will offer reduced costs and complexity, turnkey services and inspiring space architecture to support any business,” Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of advanced development programs for Blue Origin, said in a statement during the announcement. “No one knows how the LEO trading markets will develop, but we intend to find out.”

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