Did Thomas Beskett have a heart attack when he left the International Space Station (ISS) for the second time in November 2021? The house that was his home for two semesters will be gone by 2030 or 2031, falling into the Pacific Ocean.
The station has had no successor state since 2000. NASA – Funds 76% of the West. European Space Agency (Esa) decided to outsource low-orbit flares (up to approximately 1,000 km altitude) to the private sector – only 8%.
At Paris Space Congress (IAC), which runs through Sept. 22, pits competing companies against the US space agency. All are American: Axiom Space, Blue Origin (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company), Nanorocks and Northrop Grumman. The other three each plan to launch their own stations before first flying modules to the ISS themselves. NASA has allocated them an envelope of approximately 415 million euros.
We help them grow. In 2026, we will award final contracts to launch one or more stations in 2028., Angela D., head of NASA’s Low Orbit Commercial Program. Hart explains. Enough to ensure a transition period of about two years with the ISS.
This deviation is mainly due to budget restructuring.
NASA spends $3 billion a year on low orbit. 1.5 billion is targeted. And we can dedicate ourselves to what we do best: research and cutting-edge technology. The agency seems to be hovering in low orbit, and dreaming Back to the moonEspecially by sending the first woman there, and Conquer Mars.
What does Europe become of this?
The issue is no longer the station, but access to the stations. The cost of transport to low orbit is 70% of the mission budget, underlines Didier Schmidt, Head of Human and Robotic Studies at Isa. So no European station is planned, and no European company is currently going to compete with the Americans in building space stations.