Space News's Space agencies support ISS extension as NASA warns of space race with China says:
COLORADO SPRINGS — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said he remains confident that Russia will remain a part of the International Space Station through the end of the decade but warned of an emerging space race with China.
Speaking on a panel with the heads of seven other space agencies at the 36th Space Symposium here Aug. 25, Nelson said that he didn’t believe media reports out of the Russia from earlier this year that claimed Roscosmos might end its participation on the ISS as soon as the middle of the decade to develop its own station.
“Despite what you read in the press, I think that the cooperation with the Russians, which has been there ever since 1975, will continue,” he said, referring to the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission in 1975 when an Apollo spacecraft docked with a Soyuz spacecraft.
As evidence of that, he said, was the docking last month of a new Russian module, called Nauka, with the station. “We expect our Russian partners to continue with us, and we expect to expand the space station as a government project all the way to 2030.”
Nelson has long advocated an extension of the ISS to 2030, although the U.S. Congress has yet to formally authorize such an extension. Any extension of the ISS would require the agreement of the other station partners: Canada, Europe, Japan and Russia.
In an Aug. 23 interview here, Josef Aschbacher, director general of the European Space Agency, said he backed extending the ISS. “Personally, I would strongly support it,” he said, but added that would require support from ESA’s member states. “I would certainly be very happy to present them a proposal for extended use of the ISS.” That would likely be at the next ESA ministerial meeting in late 2022.
One of ESA’s largest member states does support extending the station. “ISS is, from our point of view, tremendous infrastructure,” said Walther Pelzer, head of the German space agency DLR, on the panel.
“It is a political statement that we can work together and, from this point of view, it has been and will be something that Germany will support as long as possible,” he said. “We are very happy that NASA is going in the direction of 2030.”
Formal German support for an ISS extension may wait until after the German elections in late September, Pelzer said, “but I am positive that this will be something we will see in the future.”
Question: Why would the US need it's ISS partners to agree to extend its mission? Is it strictly an issue of money, or is it also resources, or even more complicated?