Science

Congress approved the extension of the International Space Station until 2030

Congress wants the International Space Station to continue operating until the end of the decade.

The recently passed Chip Incentives for Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act of 2022 includes a NASA authorization bill that, among other things, formally extends the agency’s participation in the International Space Station (ISS) program by six years, through 2030.

Chip Law (will open in a new tab) — whose primary goal is to increase semiconductor manufacturing in the United States to address supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic — is currently approved by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives, and only requires the signature of President Joe Biden to go into effect.

“I am incredibly pleased that Congress passed the NASA Authorization Act of 2022—the first authorization for our agency in five years,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said today. (will open in a new tab) (July 28th).

“This act demonstrates continued bipartisan support for many of NASA’s missions, including our approach to the Moon and Mars, and the extension of US participation in the International Space Station through 2030,” Nelson added. “With strong support from the Biden-Harris administration, and with this authorization, NASA will continue to advance scientific discovery, provide sustainable aviation, address climate change, and more.”

Related: Biden asks for $26 billion budget for NASA in 2023 as agency aims to send astronauts to Mars by 2040.

However, the US government does not have full control over whether the ISS survives until 2030; Other partner agencies of the program must also commit to renewal.

And one of those partners, the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos, doesn’t seem to be fully committed. On Tuesday (July 26), Roscosmos announced its intention to withdraw from the ISS program after 2024.

However, the true departure timetable is unclear as Russian officials have said they want to remain a partner with the ISS until a new Russian space station is up and running, which is unlikely to happen before 2028.

Also today, the Senate released the draft Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Spending Bill for Fiscal Year 2023. The bill would give NASA $25.9738 billion next year, the exact amount the agency allocated to the agency in the White House’s 2023 budget request.

However, the CJS bill includes several amendments for NASA. These include asking the NEO Surveyor asteroid-searching mission to keep the launch date at 2026 instead of pushing it to 2028, cutting some of the space technology spending, including work on nuclear thermal propulsion, and adding $50 million to support a new commercial crew supplier other than SpaceX. . and Boeing to expand program capabilities.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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