Two US senators said in a hearing about the future of the orbiting laboratory that NASA should extend the life of the International Space Station (ISS) till 2028.
The hearing which was held on Wednesday was the first hearing in a series of two hearings to examine the role of the space station. Senator Ted Cruz, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, of Texas has convened the hearing on ISS. Earlier in 2019 budget request, the Donald Trump administration has proposed to end the government support and funding for the ISS by 2025. It was reported by the Florida Today, which is part of USA Today Network on Wednesday.
According to the Bill Nelson of Florida, who is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Space, science, and Competitiveness said, “We’ve got this platform up there (worth) north of $100 billion, and it’s there. Abandoning this incredible orbiting laboratory where they are doing research, when we are on the cusp of a new era of space exploration, would be irresponsible at best and probably disastrous.”
The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 has directed NASA to start developing a plan to ISS transition. The current situation of the ISS is it heavily depends on NASA sponsorship to run, and this would make NASA as one of the many customers present here as a low-Earth orbit (LEO) which is a non-governmental human spaceflight enterprise.
The main aim of the agency is to save the money for the deep space exploration of the Moon and Mars. As per Space agency’s internal watchdog, it is unlikely that the private companies will take this as it requires $1 billion to run the ISS by 2025.