President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk during a photo-op as they meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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The Obama administration wants to keep the International Space Station, a $100 billion orbital research outpost that is a project of 15 nations, flying until at least 2024, four years beyond a previous target, NASA said on Wednesday.NASA's costs for operating the station, which flies about 250 miles (about 400 km) above Earth, run about $3 billion a year.At the end of its life, the station will be steered down into the atmosphere, where it will incinerate.The first of up to six U.S. supply runs to the station this year was slated for launch on Wednesday, but the flight was canceled due to extremely high levels of radiation caused by a huge solar flare.Privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, which also holds a NASA contract to fly cargo to the station, is preparing for its third supply run on February 22 .
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