I tend to ignore emails from way-upper management. Most deal with personnel changes that don’t affect me or are some meaningless policy statement. This one from late yesterday, however, from Charlie Bolden made my day.
Today, Dr. John P. Holdren and I are announcing that the Obama Administration has approved an extension of the International Space Station until at least 2024. The Station has been a vital part of our mission during its 15 years in orbit, helping us learn to live and work in space and make science, medical and technology breakthroughs to improve life on Earth. It is essential to achieving the goals of sending humans to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and Mars, developing and establishing a robust U.S. cargo and crew transportation capability to low Earth orbit, and returning benefits to humanity through research and technology development.
When the Clinton administration saved Space Station Freedom by turning it into an international space station, I feared that one day we would turn over the keys to the Russians and abandon it. That hopefully has been put off by another ten years. This also means a good bit of job security for me as one of my major tasks is supporting ISS life extension.
This was then followed by the great news of a successful Antares launch this morning, carrying a Cygnus resupply ship with 2,780 lbs. of cargo to the ISS. You might recall Antares had its first launch in April of last year, with a demonstration mission to ISS in September that carried only 1,500 lbs of cargo. Cygnus Orb-1 should dock with ISS on Sunday.