Within a few years, Washington could trim International Space Station’s budget by so much that it could force the program to shut down.
In the 1960s, the U.S. and Soviet Union invested massively in space exploration as the space race was ongoing. The space race was won by the U.S. when an American was the first man to set his foot on the Moon, in July 1969.
The Moon landing proved to just about everyone on the planet that America was the toughest technological superpower.
Over the next decades, there were no challengers to the United State’s status. The nation continued to reign when it came to space exploration, as there was enough funding to send probes into deep space and astronauts into the low orbit.
NASA was also able to educate the American public on why it is important to pour taxpayer money into space endeavors. But meanwhile, the space agency’s programs have faced successive cuts until it was no longer able to run manned missions into space.
ISS Program Could Be Shut Down by 2025
The Space Shuttle, which ferried U.S. astronauts to the low orbit, was closed in 2011. Since then, NASA astronauts have relied on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to reach the ISS. A single trip to the orbital laboratory costs the U.S. $75 million for every single astronaut.
However, the U.S.-Russia partnership regarding the ISS will expire in 2019. Also, next year could be the time when the U.S.’ manned space program could be brought to a halt because of insufficient funds.
- Washington no longer sees manned space exploration as a priority for the nation, so it is increasingly hard for NASA to get the necessary funds.
- Next year’s fiscal budget for the space agency plans to nix all funding for the International Space station by 2025.
But there is still hope since lawmakers such as Ted Cruz (R) are fighting to keep the ISS program afloat.
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