The US will continue to work with other countries’ space programs on the International Space Station through 2030, NASA announced today. That will allow for an uninterrupted transition to a planned commercial space station (or stations!) in the late 2020s.
Funds for the ISS have already been approved through 2024. NASA administrator Bill Nelson told The Verge in May that he wants to continue work on the ISS through 2030.
The ISS’s future was called into question in 2018, when a draft budget proposal from President Donald Trump’s administration had scheduled ending support for the space station in 2025. More recently, escalating tensions between the US and Russia have threatened the cooperation required to work together on the ISS. In November, Russia blew up a satellite, creating a dangerous debris cloud in Earth’s orbit.
“It’s more important than ever that the United States continues to lead the world in growing international alliances and modeling rules and norms for the peaceful and responsible use of space,” Nelson said in a statement.