The ISS, with its first section, launched back in 1998, was jointly developed by the US and Russia and allows international crews to conduct scientific research in a low Earth orbit environment.
The US administration plans to end federal funding for the International Space Station (ISS) by the year 2025, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
“The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time,” an internal NASA document obtained by the newspaper reads.
“It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” the document continues.
According to the newspaper, the White House will issue a budget request later today, envisaging the spending of some $150 million on the ISS in 2019 and more in the future “to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS… are operational when they are needed.”
The plan will likely meet strong opposition as the US has already spent some $100 billion on the orbital station.
NASA, which has been piloting the station, began subcontracting certain ISS operations during the George W. Bush presidency. The supply flights, now carried out by the companies SpaceX and Orbital ATK, gained particular momentum during the Obama administration.