US President Barack Obama has promised to keep international space station’s laboratory in orbit, at least until 2024, which is a four-year extension, according to NASA officials.
However, Obama’s decision was not a surprise since the million-pound laboratory, which took 13 years, over 100 rocket and shuttle launches and 160 spacewalks to construct, would take ISS six years to de-orbit, the Washington Post reported.
William H. Gerstenmaier, the head of NASA’s human spaceflight program, said that Obama’s administration has given a tremendous gift to them that changes the way folks see their investment, especially the commercial side.
While Sen. Bill Nelson said that the move will bolster the labor force on Florida’s Space Coast, John Abney Culberson said that the extension of the station was a foregone conclusion, citing national security
Culberson, a member of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA, said that it’s inevitable and he is delighted that NASA understands the value of ensuring that America continues to hold the high ground, adding that abandoning the station “would be like General Meade handing over Little Round Top voluntarily to the Chinese.”