For more than 17 years, the International Space Station has provided American astronauts with access to space, allowing the U.S. to test the boundaries of human space exploration and conduct important scientific research.
But under a new proposal, direct funding for the International Space Station may end after 2025.
The thought is that by removing direct federal funding to the International Space Station, private industry may step in to take its place. But pulling direct funding before a viable commercial alternative is introduced could backfire. We know, because we’ve seen this movie before.
In 2011, NASA ended its space shuttle program before an alternative was put in place. This resulted in American astronauts having to rely on foreign spacecraft to get to the space station.
In bipartisan opposition to this proposal, Senators Ted Cruz (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) wrote a letter saying this could have “disastrous consequences.”