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The ISS gets an extension to 2030 to wrap up unfinished business

Funding for the ISS was previously set to expire in 2024, as per an act of Congress in 2014. But NASA anticipates that it will officially fund the ISS through 2030, says Robyn Gatens, director of the ISS for space operations.

The extension was unsurprising to Wendy Whitman Cobb, a professor of strategy and security studies at the US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. “I think the plan has always been sort of to extend it,” she says. “Obviously, NASA funding is always sort of this political battle of sorts, and so Congress has only been willing to fund it out a certain number of years.”
The first parts of the ISS were launched into orbit in 1998, and it was constructed in lower-Earth orbit over the years, piece by piece, like an outer space Lego set. The 356-foot-long lab has hosted more than 3,000 research investigations over the past 24 years; studies include how to grow peas in space and how space travel affects itty-bitty baby squid.

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