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The aging International Space Station (ISS) had its operational timespan extended through 2030, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

On Dec. 31, Nelson announced in a NASA blog that the Biden administration extended ISS’ operations through 2030. The administration also said they’re committed to working with their international partners on the station, including Europe (ESA, European Space Agency), Japan (JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Canada (CSA, Canadian Space Agency), and Russia (State Space Corporation Roscosmos). 

“The International Space Station is a beacon of peaceful international scientific collaboration and for more than 20 years has returned enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit humanity. I’m pleased that the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to continuing station operations through 2030,” Nelson said.

“The United States’ continued participation on the ISS will enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as advance the research and technology necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program and pave the way for sending the first humans to Mars. As more and more nations are active in space, it’s more important than ever that the United States continues to lead the world in growing international alliances and modeling rules and norms for the peaceful and responsible use of space,” he explained. 

The 23-year old space station has been fraught with crackscabin pressure issues, and electrical mishaps. Russia has stated it would leave the station in 2025, citing structural fatigue that could suggest it may not operate beyond 2030. 

Meanwhile, new space stations are coming online. China recently launched a next-generation space station into orbit and has already conducted an array of missions. Russia is set to construct a space station within five years, and private companies, such as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, have unveiled plans for a commercial space station. 

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