That would also give NASA time to prepare for a shift to the commercial sector-like the one President Trump requested previous year when he signed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act.
It's not entirely unreasonable that funding for the Space Station would end by 2025.
We have to talk about the elephant in the room-or rather, the elephant in low-Earth orbit.
An official budget request is set for release on February 12, giving the space community a little more than two weeks to change the president's mind. Companies like Bigelow and Axiom need to start developing private markets, everything from space tourism to manufacturing products in microgravity.
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Astronauts Scott Tingle and Mark Vande Hei, crewmembers of the Expedition 54 aboard the International Space Station (ISS), spent about 6.5 hours outside the space station.
According to the leaked budget, the Trump administration expects NASA to send landers and "transportation services" to the moon by the early 2020s. Many of NASA's partners are not now signed on to continue supporting our space program past 2024 with the help of an Obama-era extension, and this budget proposal doesn't exactly encourage them to continue the relationship. Whenever that day comes, the ISS will be pulled out of space and buried in the Pacific Ocean-it's too risky to leave the corpse up there, no matter how expensive that corpse was to build.
At least one member of Congress, Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, has already come out strongly against the plan.
The International Space Station, started in 1998 and completed in 2011, has become a valuable hub for commercial ventures to test technologies in space. Bigelow's tweet suggests that he is more than willing to step up and start a commercial sector in low Earth orbit, supported by private spacecraft such as the Boeing Starliner and the SpaceX Dragon 2, that were developed for the ISS.
Trump signed an act a year ago that compelled the agency to come up with alternative ways to fund ISS operations, as well as another directing the agency to prepare for a return to the Moon as a sort of test run for Mars.