GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

The US space agency is planning to replace the International Space Station (ISS) with one or more commercial space stations by 2030. NASA's auditing body, the Office of Audits, has produced a report detailing the agency's commitment to replace the orbiting lab with commercial space stations.

What

  1. Astronauts have lived and worked onboard the ISS orbiting roughly 250 miles above the Earth's surface for more than 20 years.
  2. The ISS costs about $3 billion a year, roughly a third of NASA's annual human space flight budget, and while current plans call for the Station's retirement in 2024, an extension to 2030 is likely.
  3. Anticipating its retirement, NASA has committed to replacing the ISS with one or more commercially owned and operated space destinations.
  4. The Artemis mission, aimed at returning humans to the Moon and ultimately landing astronauts on Mars, is not feasible without continued human health research and technology demonstrations being conducted on the ISS and its eventual replacement.
  5. As long as humans intend to travel in space, NASA expects research and testing will be needed in the microgravity environment of low-Earth orbit.