Antonio Manaytay – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – American astronauts are facing the possibility of nowhere to go in space as the Trump administration plans to defund the International Space Station program by 2025.
The defunding of the ISS program is contained in a draft budget proposal obtained by The Verge. A draft budget proposal is subject to deliberations and approval by the US Congress.
Some people knowledgeable of the issue, however, had confirmed to The Verge the plan to defund the program is final, which budget release is expected on February 12.
The plan would mean that US astronauts will be grounded until a new deep space program will be put into place.
Moreover, even in its draft form, the plan is a message for NASA’s international partners that the US has no plan to continue with the program beyond 2025.
The ISS program, a hub for experiments in microgravity, costs the US government at least $3 billion annually. Some of the experiments conducted in the ISS also include determining the human body’s response to weightlessness.
Several commercial space industry players favor the extension of NASA’s funding of ISS until 2028, the end of space lab’s lifetime. It has been operational for more than 20 years.
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