International Space Station – showing its age.
Credit: NASA


NASA’s Future in Low Earth Orbit: Considerations for ISS Extension & Transition, a House Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee Hearing, was held Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

“Now, after more than 20 years of continuous operations, the ISS is beginning to show its age,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin in an opening statement.

Cracks and leaks

“Cracks and leaks are popping up, solar arrays were recently upgraded, and the spacesuits necessary for spacewalks need to be replaced.  The first segments of the ISS have a design life of roughly 15 years with a safety factor of two, meaning that with appropriate life extension measures the segments can reasonably be expected to last to 2028,” Babin said. “While no law prevents NASA from operating the ISS as long as it deems necessary, it is past time to have a conversation about the future of the ISS and our presence in low Earth orbit.”

Credit: NASA/ESA/Thomas Pesquet







Written testimony

To view the entire hearing, go to this video at:

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