NASA, Pols Cringe at Space Station Costs
Washington standoff delays funding, key nomination
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2009 3:56 PM CDT
In this image provided by NASA Astronaut Richard Arnold participates in the mission's first scheduled spacewalk to connect the S6 truss segment to the International Space Station Thursday March 19, 2009....   (AP Photo/NASA)
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(Newser) – After years of wrangling, the US and other operators of the International Space Station have resolved to keep the facility operating through 2020, but the 5-year extension deal is creating new challenges, the Wall Street Journal reports. Washington will need to fork out at least $10 billion, which could cut into NASA’s $18 billion budget for moon exploration projects.

No one in Washington wants to take political heat for turning out the lights on the popular space station. Muddying matters, disputes between Congress and the White House have stalled the nomination of a new NASA administrator and could delay moon landings. Still, other nations are eager to keep up the ISS, and NASA expects Russia to pitch in by sending US astronauts to the station for the next few years.