Friday, January 10, 2014

NASA Announces Space Station Extension Until 2024

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida – The White House announced on Thursday that International Space Station (ISS) operations will extend until at least 2024.

John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, made the announcement at the International Space Exploration Forum in Washington.

"The ISS is a unique facility that offers enormous scientific and societal benefits," said Holdren. "The Obama Administration’s decision to extend its life until at least 2024 will allow us to maximize its potential, deliver critical benefits to our Nation and the world, and maintain American leadership in space."

In speech at the conference, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden expanded on the importance of continuing ISS operations.

"NASA is committed to the space station as a long-term platform to enable the utilization of space for global research and development," Bolden said. "We’re committed to implementing a unified strategy of deep space exploration, with robotic and human missions to destinations that include near-Earth asteroids, the moon and Mars. And we are committed to our international partnerships and the continued peaceful uses of outer space and unlocking the mysteries of our vast universe."

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns spoke at the forum on behalf of the Department of State.

“We all share a deep stake in extending humanity’s reach further into the solar system, advancing innovation further and faster, and extending the benefits of discovery to more people in more places," Burns said. "The question facing us today is whether we can muster the courage and political will to advance space exploration and ensure that cooperation continues to trump competition.”

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