US wants to privatise International Space Station

US wants to privatise International Space Station

Rather than ditch the International Space Station when its funding through 2024 ends, the Trump administration is looking to turn it over to the private sector, the Washington Post reports.

It was reported last month that Trump would request an end to ISS funding by 2025, which many have criticized as throwing a wrench in USA space exploration plans, as the ISS is the sole destination for US astronauts. Russian Federation in particular has expressed an interest in developing its own space station after the ISS, potentially using some of the modules the country's space agency, Roscosmos, plans to add to its segment of the station in the next few years. Senator Bill Nelson, who went into space in 1986, said that "turning off the lights and walking away from our sole outpost in space" made no sense.

It also calls for $10.5bn for "an innovative and sustainable campaign of exploration" leading to "the return of humans to the moon for long-term exploration and utilization followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations", according to a Nasa review.

But the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 directed NASA "to develop a plan to transition ISS from the current regime that relies heavily on NASA sponsorship to a regime where NASA could be one of many customers of a LEO non-governmental human space flight enterprise".

Air travel giant Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX are now at work on crew capsule to send US astronauts to the space station via commercial flight, according to the Post.

He said the move would put the USA on course to "do something exciting" in space for the first time in years, adding that his company is "ready" to partner with NASA on its moon efforts.

"I'm just delighted that the Trump administration is willing to begin a genuine dialogue that we now have several years to plan", NanoRacks CEO Jeff Manber told FOX Business.

Less clear is how such a plan would be coordinated with the station's worldwide partners.




Putting $150 million toward commercial development for the space station would be a "great indication" the administration is confident in what the private sector can do, CSF executive director Tommy Sanford told CNN.

The International Space Station was photographed from the space shuttle Atlantis as a shuttle departed the orbiting complex for the final time in the early hours of July 19, 2011.

The NASA document notes that the station's global partners are each at a different state in planning for operations of the ISS beyond 2024. President Barack Obama extended that model to hire Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts there.

"In short, we are once again on a path to return to the Moon with an eye toward Mars". The supersize Space Launch System rocket being built by NASA to send astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit - along with its Orion crew capsule - would get $3.7 billion under this budget.

NASA in 2022 hopes to launch the first portion of a small station to be placed in orbit around the moon.

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 WFIRST was in line after the James Webb Space Telescope, which is going to be launched in 2019, as the next big thing in astronomy mission.

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