“The United States’ continued participation on the ISS will enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as advance the research and technology necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program and pave the way for sending the first humans to Mars,” Nelson said in a statement published Friday.
The orbiting laboratory has hosted over 3,000 research studies from more than 4,200 researchers worldwide and has returned scientific, technological and educational developments in the past 20 years.
The ISS extension will enable the U.S. to continue working with international agencies, including the European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, on various research efforts and transition low Earth orbit capabilities to commercial operations to ensure continuous human presence in space.
NASA said nearly 110 countries have taken part in activities aboard the ISS, including over 1.5 million students in STEM activities on an annual basis.
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