Heads of space agencies confirm support for continued ISS operations
Heads of space agencies of the International Space Station (ISS) member countries confirmed that the station has the potential to be used for further manned space exploration at least till 2020. The heads from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met in Paris, France, on Nov. 4, 2014, and issued a joint statement that reiterate their commitment to the ISS mission.
“Recognizing the full mission breadth of the ISS from research that benefits all of humanity, to technology development, to expanding commercial use of low Earth orbit, to enhancing international cooperation and understanding, the agency heads reaffirmed their support for continued ISS operations,” they said in a statement.
The heads revealed that they are continuing to work through each their own government’s procedures so that the space station mission could continue until at least 2020. The U.S. has committed to extend the use of the ISS until at least 2024, while other partner nations are considering a similar extension. “The ISS partner agencies are working through their respective governmental procedures for continued ISS utilization through at least 2020 and noted the U.S. commitment to extend ISS utilization to at least 2024,” the statement reads.
They discussed the many ways that research on ISS is benefitting people on Earth, from biomedical breakthroughs to new materials and technologies.
In reviewing the strong commitment that enabled 14 years of continuous human presence on ISS in low-Earth orbit, the agency leaders noted the stable, solid, and robust ISS partnership that will serve as the basis for working together in future human exploration.
Earlier, Roscosmos’ deputy head Denis Lyskov told TASS that the extension of the ISS operation for the period after 2020 depends on Russia’s space program.
However, he added that no task has been set to stop the ISS operation in 2020.
“The ISS partnership will continue to advance the use of the ISS for the benefit of humanity,” the heads of space agencies concluded.
This article originally appeared on Astro Watch and can be viewed here: ISS
Tomasz Nowakowski is the owner of Astro Watch, one of the premier astronomy and science-related blogs on the internet. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate. Nowakowski's generous offer was gratefully received with the two organizations now working to better relay important developments as they pertain to space exploration.