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No constraints in continuing ISS operations till 2020

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MOSCOW (BNS): The International Space Station (ISS) will continue to operate without any technical constraints until at least year 2020, top officials of ISS agencies said.

International Space Station (ISS) agency heads from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met in Tokyo on Thursday to review the prospects for cooperation over the next decade.

“There are no identified technical constraints to continuing ISS operations beyond the current planning horizon of 2015 to at least 2020 and that the partnership is currently working to certify on-orbit elements through 2028,” a joint statement said.

With the assembly of the ISS nearing completion and the capability to support a full-time crew of six established the ISS now offers outstanding opportunities for on-orbit research and for discovery including the operation and management of the world’s largest international space complex.

The officials expressed their strong mutual interest in continuing operations and utilization for as long as the benefits of ISS exploitation are demonstrated.

They committed themselves to undertake the necessary procedures within their respective governments to reach consensus later this year on the continuation of the ISS to the next decade.

The orbital assembly of the space station began in 1998, with the launch of the US-funded and Russian-built Zarya module from Kazakhstan on November 20. Zarya, which means "dawn" in Russian, was the ISS's first component.

The service life of the orbital station upon its completion will weigh 470 tons, 109 meters long and 88.4 meters wide. Its total cost is expected to be $40 billion, reports said.

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