The March 11, 2010 NASA media brief 'Heads of agency International Space Station joint statement,' states, 'With the assembly of the ISS nearing completion and the capability to support a full-time crew of six established, they [the heads of these five space agencies] noted the outstanding opportunities now offered by the ISS for on-orbit research and for discovery including the operation and management of the world's largest international space complex.'
The leaders also stated that, ''¦ the unprecedented opportunities that enhanced use of this unique facility provides to drive advanced science and technology. This research will deliver benefits to humanity on Earth while preparing the way for future exploration activities beyond low-Earth orbit.'
And, 'The ISS will also allow the partnership to experiment with more integrated international operations and research, paving the way for enhanced collaboration on future international missions.'
The five space agencies participating in these talks are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the United States, The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) for Russia, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for Canada, the European Space Agency (ESA) for the European Union, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for Japan.
Page two continues with the reason why the International Space Station can easily continue operations through 2028.
During their meeting, the leaders of these five space agencies reiterated that importance of the space station's potential in the areas of science, engineering, utilization, and education.
With the completion of the ISS almost accomplished (hopefully in 2010, or possibly in 2011), the future of the Space Station looks bright.
And, the ability of the structure to remain orbiting the Earth, along with all of its systems operating efficiently and safety, can continue for many years into the future.
The leaders made this statement: ''¦ [T]here 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.'
Although the United States is committed to support the operations onboard the International Space Station through at least 2020, the five leaders of these space agencies are looking to extend that date for another eight years'”out to 2028.
Thus, NASA, Roscosmos, CSA, ESA, and JAXA are all looking to enhance the ISS programs in order to assure the ''¦ most effective use of essential capabilities, such as space transportation for crew and cargo, for the life of the program.'