Trump Administration To Privatise The International Space Station By 2025?

Trump Administration To Privatise The International Space Station By 2025?

Trump Administration To Privatise The International Space Station By 2025?

"Keeping these advances on track, both technologically and as groundwork for establishing a commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit, is critical".

The Trump administration is looking to turn the International Space Station (ISS) over to the private sector, according to NASA documents obtained by the Washington Post.

Congress has directed NASA to study the feasibility of extending space station operations, which cost about $3 billion a year, to 2028 or 2030. But the next-next-generation WFIRST space telescope would be canceled.

In an agency-wide address, NASA's acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said it was a "very exciting" budget with lots of potential, despite some hard decisions.

The president's budget proposal, including NASA's portion, was obsolete even before it was made public, but it provides a view into the administration's priorities.

NASA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Many space experts and legislators are expressing concern. Sen. "Receiving NASA's Authority to Proceed is a big step for the program".

"No one is looking at leasing the ISS, to run the entire station, as the ISS isn't just a USA entity", Tommy Sanford, director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, told CNBC.

Its proposed budget for 2019 is $712 million, up from $650 million in 2017. The annual figure would grow to $225 million in fiscal 2023.

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Around $150 million will go to a new program created to monetize the low-Earth orbit as NASA's cashstash for the International Space Station will run dry by late 2025.

Boeing, which has been involved with the ISS since 1995, also has a stance on the matter.

Since the first space station module was launched in 1998, Nasa's focus has shifted away from operations in low-Earth orbit using the shuttle, back towards deep space - with the Moon, Mars and asteroids all named as possible future exploration targets.

The budget to be proposed for NASA later today will offer some preliminary support for a lunar exploration program, but has no specific timelines for when humans might return to the surface of the Moon-nor funding to make such an ambitious undertaking happen.

"The first piece of the platform that will be around the moon is that piece that Glenn will develop and lead", said Kavandi.

Lastly, partners across the country and the world will not take it well if the United States government bails from the International Space Station, when the White House was the one that talked everybody into the project.

Also, it's merely a proposal.

But Logsdon says neither company can likely afford a $4 billion-a-year price tag right now, and Tommy Sanford, executive director of Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a coalition of companies working in space, told Newsweek that the companies considering a station would likely rather build their own facilities. The space agency awarded a 10-year, $136 million cooperative agreement to the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage non-NASA reach activities on the National Laboratory-the US section of the Space Station.

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