The US Government wants to force NASA to stop supporting the ISS in 2025
The administration of US President Donald Trump is going to sign a decree on the termination of the program to support the International Space Station by 2025. It is reported portal The Verge, familiarized himself with the state budget draft preliminary documents. The publication notes that if the station closed, the US astronauts at risk of losing space for years to come, unless, of course, space agency NASA has not come up to this time and do not develop new spacecraft to implement plans for the development of deep space.
to its final form and before introduction in the US Congress, the House on February 12 consideration of the draft budget can be changed several times, but two unnamed sources close to the case confirmed the The Verge, that the directive will be presented in the final sentence. The space agency NASA say they will not comment on this information, until we see the final document.
"space agency NASA and its Partnership for International Space Station project is fully focused on scientific and technological research aboard the orbiting laboratory since the station is a base for the further advancement of humanity into space," - said NASA representative in a conversation with journalists, The Verge .
"We will not comment on rumors and talk about have not yet made a discussion paper on the future budget. They are going to present only on February 12 ".
The publication notes that any proposal made by the administration of Trump's proposal will be the subject of careful study by the Congress prior to its adoption. Even rumors of intent to terminate the financing of the ISS can be a partner for the international NASA signal that the US is no longer interested in continuing support of the program. In turn, many of these partners do not yet decided whether they will work at the station after 2024. ISS project is underway for more than two decades. For NASA (not to mention the other participating countries) each year of service station costs about $ 3-4 billion. In general, the US government has invested in the ISS more than 87 billion dollars. MCS is the main site of both government and commercial microgravity experiments. At the station, conducted research aimed at understanding and solving the problems associated with a long stay in space - critical research that will be needed for the implementation of the conquest of outer space plans.
Previously, NASA has promised to keep the financial support to the International Space Station until 2024. But this was done even during the former administration of 44th US President Barack Obama. After his departure from the post of the Head of State the question of the station freezes in the air. What will happen next?
Congress began to open discussion about the future of the ISS after its funding program will be discontinued, but any concrete conclusions for the discussion has not yet yielded. Many parties in commercial sphere would like to see NASA again has extended the program now until 2028, when the come to the end of the calculated time of plant operation. This would give the agency time to understand how to translate the ISS for a full commercial use, and private companies - to launch to the ISS a new commercial unit. Media reported that by 2024 this would be simply impossible.
Decree to the president of Trump in the past year, the space agency, called for him to think about how to bring the ISS from under funding NASA. Consideration of the issue planned for the December 1, 2017, but NASA has yet to provide any public information about what led to these hearings. The government, in turn, would also would not mind to bring the International Space Station from the jurisdiction and NASA's funding, thus giving released funds for the development of space vehicles and technologies that will be needed for further development of deep space.
Currently, NASA is completing work on a new carrier rocket Space Launch System, as well as manned spacecraft Orion (both projects are contractors Space Agency), which will be able to deliver astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit. However, the US president said the desire to send astronauts to the moon, and so the space agency will need more free resources to implement the plan. The return to the moon and later installation of a permanent settlement there will require the development of a new lander, housing, as well as new technologies that will enable the colonists not only stay alive, but also to productive activities for the development of the colony. Meanwhile, the budget is very scanty space agency does not correspond to the tasks, the newspaper says The Verge. Thus the refusal to support the ISS potentially free up several billion dollars for the development of all these necessary technologies.
However, too early abandonment of the ISS without the available alternatives can create a long break in activity in Earth orbit. Similar has already happened in 2011 when the space shuttle program was closed. Then the Obama administration canceled a NASA initiative program "Constellation", one of whose main objectives is to return to the moon. It does left the US space agency, as well as its astronauts, without access to space. The government has decided to rely on private companies, so that they began to send astronauts into orbit. The initiative resulted in a program of "commercial manned space flight", which was attended by two companies - SpaceX and Boeing. Both led the development of manned spacecraft, with which it was planned to deliver astronauts to the ISS. But after almost seven years since the closure of the space shuttle program NASA, private contractors are still not ready to send people into space and, most likely, will not yet be ready for that in the next two years. This, in turn, makes NASA rely on Russian spacecraft.
Commercial partners such as NASA SpaceX still only willing to deliver the goods on a regular basis to the ISS, but not the people
Loss of the ISS will be a big loss for the commercial space industry, relying on access to the station to carry out new experiments and test new technologies. Satellite operators have repeatedly launched its compact satellites directly to the ISS. At the same time microgravity conditions aboard the station allow private firms to inspect equipment for readiness work in space. For example, the company Bigelow Aerospace, which develops inflatable space module housing, for almost two years now testing one of their prototypes at the station. In addition, NASA uses the station to study the effects of long exposure to microgravity on the human body. This information is of critical importance, especially when you consider that humanity will soon going to take a trip to Mars.
In addition, while the program is a "commercial manned launches" Now virtually idle. A recent government analysis showed that neither SpaceX, or Boeing will not be able to pass the necessary certification to access manned launch to the ISS until at least the end of 2019 - early 2020, it actually leaves them with only 5 years for regular flight to the station.
In addition to its scientific and commercial benefits, the ISS serves as the cornerstone of international cooperation. NASA is working with the Russian space agency Roskosmos, as well as collaborating with the Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies.