United States extends ISS operations to 2030


The United States is expanding its activities aboard the International Space Station until 2030, NASA confirmed in a blog post on Friday. “The International Space Station is a beacon of peaceful international scientific cooperation and has sent back tremendous scientific, educational and technological advances for more than 20 years that benefit humanity,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.

While there was never any doubt that the US would continue its commitment to the ISS any time soon, NASA’s announcement comes amid heightened tensions with Russia, one of several countries sharing access to the space station. In 2021, Russia also deepened its cooperation in space with China, another US adversary, as The New York Times noted in June.

In the fall of 2021, there were multiple emergencies aboard the ISS, both of which blamed the US on Russia. In October, an unexpected test fire from a docked Russian spacecraft caused the ISS to flip out of its normal position, forcing personnel on board to evacuate for a short time. (A funny footnote: The spacecraft that caused the incident had been in space so that a Russian crew could film the first feature film aboard the space station.) Then, in November, satellite debris forced ISS astronauts to take shelter that day. like a Russian missile strike. The US condemned Russia for the attack. Russia admitted no mistakes.

Later that month, in an unrelated episode, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, left the door open to possible criminal charges related to a 2018 incident involving a hole in one of its spacecraft, which Russian media insinuated could be the result. could be from American sabotage. “These attacks are false and lack any credibility,” Nelson told Ars Technica in November.

In its statement on Friday, NASA highlighted among its ongoing projects that send humans to Mars, as well as Project Artemis, an effort to send the first woman and first person of color to the moon. Indeed, NASA went through a reorganization in September that seemed to specifically reflect its priorities around the moon and Mars.

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