A big question mark hangs over the fate of the International Space Station, a collective effort between space agencies of countries like United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and others. NASA has not yet confirmed if it’s going to fund the current one beyond 2024 let alone say that it’s going to participate in efforts to build a new one. The agency has given its biggest hint yet that makes it clear that NASA doesn’t seem to be too interested in a new ISS.
According to a report William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, confirmed during a meeting with the agency’s advisory panel that the new goal is to bring humans to the moon’s orbit that’s also known as the cislunar space.
As far as the ISS is concerned, “NASA’s vision is we’re trying to move out,” regardless of whether private space companies step up to fill the gap or not. To pursue it’s goal of setting up shop in cislunar space the agency will have to leave low Earth orbit behind because it can’t fund both projects.
Private space companies have already been helping out by flying resupply missions to the ISS, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will also be flying a crewed mission, but it remains to be seen if these companies would like to spend their money to fund a new International Space Station, an effort that could require billions and billions of dollars in funds.