"If the administration plans to abruptly pull us out of the International Space Station in 2025, they're going to have a fight on their hands", Nelson said in a statement. However, the simple fact that it contains details that include ending support for the ISS in 2025 suggests that there is a sentiment of that nature in the White House.
If the Deep Space Gateway program falls behind schedule, ending operations on the ISS prematurely could lead to a gap in US access to space. Still, many in the industry would prefer that NASA fund the ISS through 2028 to provide more time for the shift to commercial ventures, according to the Verge.
For more than a decade, White House officials have struggled with the tension between continuing to spend roughly $4 billion annually on the International Space Station and shifting some or all of that money to boost space travel beyond Earth orbit.
Though Congress ultimately has final approval on the decision, the proposal itself spells bad news for NASA's worldwide partners and investors, as it sends a sign that the program lacks the government's full support.
In the budget documents, seen by The Verge, all financial support from the U.S. could be terminated by 2025.
It's not clear from the draft proposal how NASA's role in the ISS would end, and how it would be coordinated with the station's global partners. Companies like SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Sierra Nevada Corp are paid billions to fly cargo and supplies there. Losing ISS completely without a replacement already being operational would surely be a mistake as far as science and space research are concerned.
The President also wants NASA to lead a space exploration program that would look to send astronauts not only back to the Moon but also to Mars.
It's not entirely unreasonable that funding for the Space Station would end by 2025. One of them is even attached to the station now, as a test site.
To compensate for the lack of space shuttles, the plan was to get private companies involved. Many of NASA's partners are not now signed on to continue supporting our space program past 2024 with the help of an Obama-era extension, and this budget proposal doesn't exactly encourage them to continue the relationship. "What also is a fact is the ISS is still the only game in town that we have at the moment".