Space News has some interesting ISS news from Europe:
The head of the 18-nation European Space Agency (ESA) on Feb. 2 roundly endorsed the new direction U.S. President Barack Obama proposed for NASA, saying a firmer U.S. commitment to the international space station and space-based Earth science would further tighten trans-Atlantic cooperation.
In an interview, ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain also said his agency was ready to propose to NASA and the other space station partners â€” Russia, Japan and Canada â€” that China, India and South Korea be invited to join the station partnership.
â€œThese three nations have been active in the multilateral discussion of future space exploration architecture,â€ Dordain said. â€œIt seems that these three would be a good place to start widening the partnership. But this needs to be a collective decision by all the current partners.â€
Dordain and other European government officials have long urged that the space stationâ€™s service life be extended at least to 2020, with a final retirement date decided only when it becomes clear that the orbital outpost is no longer worth the annual investment in operations and maintenance.
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