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Trump To End Support For ISS According To Budget Proposal Draft

International Space Station, ISS.skeeze/Pixabay

While the Trump administration has been largely anti-science in terms of its policies and rhetoric, many had hoped that it was at least amenable to the field of space travel. After all, the president did recently sign an executive order that is meant to put a man on the moon again. A recent budget proposal may be sending mixed signals, however, as it involves ending support for the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS is an international endeavor that is focused on science and the pursuit of knowledge. It receives support from a coalition of countries, which the U.S. used to be a reliable member of. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has displayed a habit of cutting off ties and insulting countries. According to a recent budget proposal obtained by The Verge, Trump and his people are about to do so again.

It’s worth noting that the proposal is just a draft right now and there is no guarantee that it will be the same once it is finally submitted to Congress. However, the simple fact that it contains details that include ending support for the ISS in 2025 suggests that there is a sentiment of that nature in the White House.

Now that the news is out that this is the case, international partners of the U.S. that are also invested in the ISS might lose whatever confidence they have left that it is a reliable partner. It would also effectively ground all American astronauts and halt all of NASA’s space programs that are being conducted in the space station, which is practically all of it.

When the agency was asked about the budget proposal, a representative of NASA reiterated its commitment to the ISS without commenting on the leaked document.

“NASA and the International Space Station partnership is committed to full scientific and technical research on the orbiting laboratory, as it is the foundation on which we will extend human presence deeper into space,” the spokesperson said. “We will not comment on any leaked or pre-decisional documents prior to the release of the President’s FY19 budget, which is scheduled for February 12.”

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