The fate of the ISS beyond the year 2020 has been rather dire for a while now. The budgeting for the ISS was set to expire in 2020 resulting in the decommissioning of the space station. The White House has now agreed to extend the funding for the ISS for a few more years.
The ISS now has funding promised that will support operations on the space station and prevent it from being decommissioned until at least 2024. That gives the ISS a four-year reprieve. NASA had said that the extension of operating for the station would allow it to continue valuable scientific research and allow it to help solidify the market for commercial space systems.
Several commercial space systems are being tested with deliveries of supplies to the ISS. NASA says that having another ten years from now to operate the space station opens research avenues on the station. The US funding of the ISS costs about $3 billion per year.
The increase in funding for the space station does require approval from Congress. Having the backing of the White House now doesn’t guarantee the funding, the next President could change that since funding is evaluated each year. The ISS recently had significant issues with its cooling system that required multiple space walks to fix. The final space walk to fix the cooling system was conducted on Christmas Eve.
SOURCE: USA Today