That was the suggestion floated by NASA’s Alan Ladwig during a speech Friday morning at the 2nd Annual Space and Telecom Law Conference in Washington, organized by Space and Telecom Law Program of the University of Nebraska’s College of Law. Ladwig, who just transitioned from his former role as senior advisor to the administrator to deputy associate administrator for communications for public outreach, said that it was highly likely that regardless whatever decision the White House makes on the future of NASA’s human spaceflight program, the ISS will likely be extended beyond 2015: “If there’s anything I can probably say openly and make a bet on, is that the space station is going to continue.”
A big reason for continuing the space station, he said, is to maintain its international partnership and ensure that partners like Europe and Japan who just got the labs added to the station in the last couple of years can make maximum use of them. “We do think that, from an international perspective, the station is going forward,” he said. He then added, “One of the things my office is going to try and promote this year is to try and get the International Space Station nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s been going on now for ten years. It’s the largest technological international endeavor ever undertaken, and it seems to be going pretty well… I think it’s a pretty good testament to what can be done when we collaborate together.”
One question about this effort is who would actually receive the prize: while the Peace Prize has routinely been awarded to agencies and organizations, there is no “International Space Station Organization” that would be the logical choice for laureate. Ladwig said after his talk that he didn’t yet know how to handle that, but was looking for potential nominators, including, perhaps, former vice president (and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) Al Gore.