International Space Station at 20: Commercialization increases as end of life looms

The International Space Station (ISS) hits 20 years of continuous human habitation this fall, and NASA aims to make the most of the years the orbiting lab has left.

The astronaut complex is in great shape, agency officials have stressed, and it just received a set of battery upgrades to keep going for a while. Within months, operational commercial crews will expand the station’s capacity for research as more astronauts per spacecraft pour into the facility. The Trump administration and NASA are also ramping up efforts to fly private astronauts and add private modules to the ISS.

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