Trump Wants to Privatize the International Space Station

This uncrewed cargo mission plans to deliver three tons of food fuel and other supplies

GETTYThis uncrewed cargo mission plans to deliver three tons of food fuel and other supplies

The International Space Station (ISS) is seen in an undated NASA handout picture, June 10, 2015.

"The proposal would also end support for the International Space Station in 2025 and make deep cuts to popular education and science programs, " continued Nelson, a former astronaut who flew during the space shuttle era.

The ISS could theoretically survive beyond 2025, if someone else picks up the tab; the budget request does not mention de-orbiting the $100 billion station when the government money runs out. "It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform". In a statement by acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, the proposed US$19 billion NASA budget for Fiscal Year 2019 emphasizes a policy shift toward exploration missions that includes a proposal to cease direct participation by the U.S. government in space station operations after its present commitment expires in 2025.

The US has already spent almost $100 billion on building and operating the ISS, which has some members of government a little uneasy about claims of selling it off to the highest bidder.

According to U.S. government, the proposed $150 million will be used to create a programme to help prepare private companies or commercial entities to take over the ISS operations over the next seven years, as reported by BBC.

Which, let's remember, will be the station's ultimate fate, and likely within about a decade-NASA now believes the ISS can remain in operation until 2028 before becoming unsafe.

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration is a national organization of more than 70 space industry businesses and advocacy groups focused on ensuring the United States remains a leader in space, science and technology. "I suspect this will be a major aspect of any decisions about (the Space Station's) future", Launius wrote in an email.

Boeing, which operates the ISS for NASA, also opposes Trump's plan.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been given formal approval by NASA to provide cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), with an anticipated launch window for late 2020. That's because the Trump administration is now believed to be thinking about privatizing the massive global experiment that orbits the planet.

The Trump administration is serious about sending robots and spacecraft back to the moon - although no NASA astronaut will set foot on the chalky lunar surface until after President Trump leaves office. In fact, last week's successful Space X Falcon Heavy rocket launch ticks an very bad lot of the boxes that the old school shuttle launches once did, and once we stick human beings on top of on those things, we're pretty much all of the way there. The five-year budget scenario calls for NASA's annual allotment to drop to a flat $19.6 million for the years going out to 2023. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last week. It may be primarily funded by the U.S., but its survival as a station relies heavily upon multinational cooperation and knowledge sharing.

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