Trump Administration Wants To End NASA Funding For The International Space Station By 2025
Jan. 26, 2018
Without the ISS, American astronauts could be grounded on Earth for years with no destination in space until NASA develops new vehicles for its deep space travel plans. Any budget proposal from the Trump administration will also be subject to scrutiny and approval by Congress.
But even announcing the intention to cancel ISS funding could send a signal to NASA’s international partners that the US is no longer interested in continuing the program. Many of NASA’s partners still have yet to decide if they’d like to continue working on the station beyond 2024.
The International Space Station has been an ongoing program for more than two decades. It costs NASA between $3 to $4 billion each year, and represents a more than $87 billion investment from the US government. It’s become a major hub for conducting both government and commercial experiments in microgravity, as well as testing out how the human body responds to weightlessness.
Many in the commercial space industry want NASA to extend the program again through 2028: the year that many consider to be the end of its operational lifetime. That would give NASA time to figure out a way to transition operations of the ISS to the commercial sector full-time or time for companies to establish a commercial module in lower Earth orbit. However, commercial companies have indicated they may not be ready to do this by 2024.
Losing the ISS would be a major loss to the commercial space industry, which has come to rely on the station to test out new technologies. A recent government audit found that both SpaceX and Boeing won’t be certified to start sending astronauts to the ISS until late 2019 or early 2020. That gives them just five years to do regular runs to the space station.
Trump Ending Protected Status for El Salvadorans
Jan. 09, 2018
More than 260,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live and work legally in the U.S. for over a decade will see their protections expire next year.
The Department of Homeland Security on January 7 announced that it would be ending temporary protected status for El Salvadorans in 18 months. The status allows foreigners whose countries have been wracked by natural disasters or armed conflict to seek temporary refuge in the U.S.
The status was first granted to El Salvador by President George W. Bush in the wake of a devastating earthquake there in January 2001.
Although meant to offer only short-term relief to El Salvadorans as their country rebuilt, the status was renewed 11 times by Bush and his successor, President Barack Obama, as the country struggled in its recovery and suffered severe food shortages and endemic gang violence.
In announcing that the program will end Sept. 19, 2019, DHS effectively extended the program another year and a half before its termination.
The move is in line with similar decisions by DHS under President Donald Trump to also both extend and announce an end to temporary protected status for citizens of Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.
About 262,500 El Salvadorans are thought to have temporary protected status. It is estimated that they have had about 193,000 U.S.-born children.
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