Space Station Will Keep Orbiting Until at Least 2024

Move will maximize station's usefulness, NASA says, and boost fledgling commercial space industry

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Good news, space geeks: The International Space Station (ISS) will keep orbiting Earth for at least another decade.

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it granted NASA approval to extend its ISS program through 2024.

The announcement comes one day before the leaders of the world’s space programs gather for an annual conference in Washington, D.C. It’s still unclear how many of NASA’s global ISS partners will choose to keep using (and financing) the station.

“The ISS is a unique facility that offers enormous scientific and societal benefits,” wrote White House Office of Science and Technology Policy director John P. Holdren and NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a joint statement. “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.”

NASA’s decade-long extension will also add more certainty to the burgeoning commercial space industry. With the space shuttle gone and its replacement years away, NASA has been largely relying on Russian spacecraft to get its astronauts and equipment aboard the ISS. However, SpaceX, an American commercial space venture launched by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, has been awarded a $1.6 billion NASA contract to ferry cargo to and from the ISS — and it’s already flown two successful missions. Another American company, Orbital Sciences, is set to launch its second ISS mission this week. With the ISS’s life extended, those companies will be more certain their services will be required by NASA in the future as the agency increasingly relies on commercial spacecraft for quick sorties from Earth to the station and back again.

2 comments
Roland
Roland

Attention "space geeks": If you are suckers enough to believe that this state-aggrandizing boondoggle has "enormous benefits" for you, then pay for it yourselves.

BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

SCIENCE SHOWS THAT THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing net energy decay, even in an open system). Einstein showed that space, matter, and time all are physical and all had a beginning. Space even produces particles because it’s actually something, not nothing. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal.

The law of entropy doesn't allow the universe to be eternal. If the universe were eternal, everything, including time (which modern science has shown is as physical as mass and space), would have become totally entropied by now and the entire universe would have ended in a uniform heat death a long, long time ago. The fact that this hasn't happened already is powerful evidence for a beginning to the universe.

Popular atheistic scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe had a beginning and came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered. That's not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing. What about the Higgs boson (the so-called “God Particle”)? The Higgs boson does not create mass from nothing, but rather it converts energy into mass. Einstein showed that all matter is some form of energy.

The supernatural cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence and power for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? Obviously, unlike the universe, God’s nature doesn’t require a beginning. 

EXPLAINING HOW AN AIRPLANE WORKS doesn't mean no one made the airplane. Explaining how life or the universe works doesn't mean there was no Maker behind them. Natural laws may explain how the order in the universe works and operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot explain the origin of that order. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic code and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could life or the cell have naturally originated when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM.

WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science simply is knowledge based on observation. No one observed the universe coming by chance or by design, by creation or by evolution. These are positions of faith. The issue is which faith the scientific evidence best supports.

Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

Babu G. Ranganathan*
(B.A. Bible/Biology)

Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.