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  [Discuss] Space Station (ISS) extension to 2024

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] Space Station (ISS) extension to 2024
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28565
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-08-2014 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topic International Space Station (ISS) extended to 2024 focused on status updates, reader's feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss the White House's decision to extend the International Space Station program to at least 2024.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28565
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-08-2014 05:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The International Space Station, occupied since 2000 and currently supported through 2020, has the White House's approval to operate for an additional four years, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
According to documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, NASA plans to announce this week that it has White House approval to extend the station's operations by four years until 2024.

The decision follows years of pressure by top NASA officials, who consider the station a critical steppingstone to future exploration. But a four-year extension likely would cost NASA about $3 billion a year from 2021 to 2024. That's a major chunk of the agency's annual budget, which is now about $17 billion, and a longer mission could force NASA to make tough financial decisions in the future.

The administration's approval, however, doesn't guarantee that the station, which has been continuously occupied since 2000, will survive past its current end date of 2020. At some point, Congress must approve a NASA budget that includes an extension of the station's life. The plan also must get the support of whoever wins the White House in 2016 — though the backing of President Barack Obama now might make it harder for the next administration to renege.

Still, the move is expected to reassure NASA's international partners, who have wondered how long the U.S. plans to commit to the station. NASA's announcement coincides with a visit to Washington this week by leaders of the world's space agencies.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1726
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 01-08-2014 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...though the backing of President Barack Obama now might make it harder for the next administration to renege.
Similar backing before certainly has not stopped the current Administration or previous Administrations from reneging.

issman1
Member

Posts: 900
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 01-08-2014 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISS the only long-term orbital destination for humans and needs additional partners from Asia.

Crashing it into the South Pacific in 2020 would be like euthanizing a healthy pet. One hopes that those wishing to succeed Obama are well-informed and not dismissive of NASA.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28565
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-08-2014 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
...needs additional partners from Asia.
It actually doesn't, nor could it likely support such. The crew is maxed out at six (seven, when U.S. commercial crew comes on line, but then the potential seventh crew member slot is for a U.S. astronaut).

There are currently not enough slots for even the current partners to fly as often as they desire (ask Canada).

The number of docking ports are limited and traffic around the station is very busy.

In other words, there is not much a new partner could bring to the space station that would justify their being a partner.

328KF
Member

Posts: 864
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-08-2014 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's the most logical reasoning I have heard yet for not having China piggyback on the ISS partners' accomplishments. There are many, many other reasons, but I like Robert's facts.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28565
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-08-2014 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. And just to clarify, the above applies to China, India, Brazil, Israel or any other country that might want to come on board as a partner.

The only scenario where I could see new partners being welcomed would be if one or more the existing partners dropped out.

Cozmosis22
Member

Posts: 307
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 01-08-2014 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mighty nice of the current Administration to "approve" of space endeavours some ten years distant. Still, that would have to be determined by Congress of course.

Most amusing phrase in that little White House Press Release was, "Launching American astronauts to the space station from US soil has also been a top priority of the Obama Administration..."

LOL Obviously not priority number one. *If you like your space shuttle program you can keep it, period.*

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28565
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-08-2014 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cozmosis22:
Still, that would have to be determined by Congress of course.
Congress only needs to approve if additional funds are needed, which according to Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator of space operations, are not.

Instead, funding NASA was already allocated and has held for deorbiting the station in 2020 will be used to support the extension.

quote:
If you like your space shuttle program you can keep it, period.
Only if you choose to ignore the Columbia Accident Investigation Review Board findings; no matter how many safety improvements made to the space shuttle, it was never going to reach operational status again.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28565
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-12-2014 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The editorial board of The New York Times has come out in favor of extending the International Space Station to 2024 and beyond in an editorial published Sunday.
Congress seems likely to support the extension because it will provide local jobs and contracts. The budgetary effect will be negligible through 2020. But eventually, Congress will need to decide whether to keep operating the station for as long as its key components last, possibly through 2028 or beyond, use the money for other manned and robotic space missions or supply enough money to do it all. The station ought to be kept in orbit as long as it yields important research findings, but it should not be allowed to cannibalize other important space activities.

NASA’s budget is a tiny part of the trillions of dollars in annual federal spending. Congress ought to appropriate enough money to keep the United States at the forefront in all realms of space research and exploration.

All times are CT (US)

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