The International Space Station (ISS) may require regular expensive maintenance, but experts said it’s crucial to advances in science, health and technology. Earlier this month, NASA said the life of the $100 billion ISS would be extended until at least 2024. The space station, launched in 1998, is maintained by a rotating crew of six astronauts and cosmonauts from 14 countries. Despite the expense in repairing the aging space station, ISS scientist Julie Robinson says the ISS is a hub of unlimited opportunity: allowing scientists to study the effects of weightlessness on the human body, testing new space technologies, studying Earth climate, and developing knowledge that can directly help bio-medical treatments. Robinson added that many of the research results from the ISS are making their way into drug development and medical technology.
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