The leaked piece of the budget suggests that partnerships between private companies and NASA will pave the way to the moon as well, possibly featuring more government support to industry partners through lunar travel partnerships. The United States has spent almost $100 billion on the orbiting laboratory and has continually looked for ways to keep it flying.
The US is committed to providing $US3-4 billion ($3.7-4.9 billion) funding towards the ISS through the year 2024.
The official budget proposal will be released February 12, delayed from February 5 due to the three-day government shutdown earlier this month.
Under President Obama's administration, Congress approved funding for the space station until 2024. Popular Mechanics reported that officials from NASA and other space agencies gathered in Tokyo over the past few days to plan for construction in the 2020s. Since 1993, the United States has spent around $87 billion to both build and operating the International Space Station, which seems like a significant amount despite representing a tiny fraction of the United States budget when spread out over 25 years. Companies like SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada Corp are paid billions to fly cargo and supplies there. Congress asked NASA to look at extending the support of the International Space Station through 2028. 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. By 2025, the Presidents wants to cut off money for the space station.
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The International Space Station-a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit-has been circling us for two decades, and is expected to be used for another ten years, at least.
The proposal will also open the door for a commercial launch of the first element of the proposed Deep Space Gateway, a power and propulsion module, in 2022.
"It's one thing to say this is the last space station that will be owned and operated by the federal government", Manber said. Companies like Bigelow and Axiom need to start developing private markets, everything from space tourism to manufacturing products in microgravity.
In the same appearance, he also touched upon the future of the ISS.