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Russia Says Would Consider Extending International Space Station Participation

Igor Komarov, general director of Roskosmos
Igor Komarov, general director of Roskosmos

The chief of the Russian space agency says his country is open to extending its partnership in the International Space Station with the United States and other nations past the planned conclusion of the program in 2024.

Igor Komarov, general director of Roskosmos, on April 4 told reporters that "we are ready to discuss it," when asked at the U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado if Russia would consider a four-year extension.

The U.S. House of Representatives committee that oversees NASA, the U.S. space agency, is looking at whether to extend the program beyond 2024 or use the money for other ventures, such as human missions to the moon and Mars.

NASA spends about $3 billion a year on the space-station program, a level that has been accepted by the Trump administration and the U.S. Congress.

Europe, Japan, and Canada also participate in the space-station partnership.

The $100 billion craft orbits 400 kilometers above Earth, with occupants conducting science and engineering experiments.

It has been permanently staffed by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts since November 2000.

Based on reporting by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal

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