Space Laboratory Open for Business
After nearly 12 years of development and a price tag of $100 billion, the International Space Station (ISS) is fully assembled, and the White House has extended the length of time it is willing to keep the station operating. Now it is scheduled to stay open until 2020, instead of 2016 as originally planned. But what to do with those extra four years? Researchers, scientists, and engineers are determining how to best utilize the space station—while also dealing with the fact that the space shuttles that transport crew and cargo to the ISS will be retiring next year.