Ending support would free up resources for other work, such as the Space Launch System, the Orion crew capsule or the recent directive to return NASA astronauts to the moon, signed by the President previous year. Ending the station's funding in 2025 would end those partnerships.
"NASA and the International Space Station partnership is committed to full scientific and technical research on the orbiting laboratory, as it is the foundation on which we will extend human presence deeper into space".
Though Congress ultimately has final approval on the decision, the proposal itself spells bad news for NASA's global partners and investors, as it sends a sign that the program lacks the government's full support. The Verge pointed out the draft could be altered before the official budget request - although they spoke with "two people familiar with the matter" who said the directive would be included in the final proposal. Barack Obama's administration approved an extension of the space station until at least 2024.
A NASA spokesperson would not comment to The Verge about the report. If NASA pulls its support for the station, it is unclear how these worldwide partners will respond regarding continued ISS operation.
An artist's rendering shows Sierra Nevada Corp.'s concept for a deep-space habitat. "This would likely decimate FL's [Florida's] commercial space industry and hinder our ability to experiment in low-Earth orbit".
According to The Verge, commercial companies like SpaceX and Boeing have said they would likely not be able build orbiting modules by the time funding for the ISS runs out in 2024.
The White House has said repeatedly that it intends to recommit the nation to space exploration, in partnership with the private sector and the global community.
Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, said that he looks "forward to working with the administration on a transition plan for the station that includes the commercial sector playing a vital role".
"It's one thing to say this is the last space station that will be owned and operated by the federal government", Manber said.
To compensate for the lack of space shuttles, the plan was to get private companies involved.
In the same appearance, he also touched upon the future of the ISS.