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White House, NASA back International Space Station extension to 2024

11:09 AM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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The International Space Station



(Florida Today) -- NASA and the White House today announced plans to extend International Space Station operations for at least another four years, to 2024.

Bill Gerstenmaier, the head of NASA's human spaceflight operations, said the extension provided a 10-year horizon that gives researchers time to develop experiments that can provide greater return on the $100 billion station.

It also gives companies a more certain market for flights of cargo and astronauts to the station, many of which would launch from the Space Coast.

It is not yet known if international partners including Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada will commit to the extension.

Congress and the next president will continue to review the value of the $3 billion-a-year program that the Obama administration first extended to 2020.

Technical studies have determined the ISS can operate safely through 2028.

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