Trump's White House wants to privatise International Space Station by 2025

Trump's White House wants to privatise International Space Station by 2025

Trump's White House wants to privatise International Space Station by 2025

Under President Donald Trump's 2019 proposed budget released Monday, U.S. government funding for the space station would end by 2025.

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.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who leads the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, also recently referred to supporters of exiting the ISS program as "numbskulls".

The transition of the station would mark another bold step for NASA in turning over access to what's known as low Earth orbit to the private sector so that the space agency could focus its resources on exploring deep space. The United States has already spent some Dollars 100 billion to launch, operate and support the orbital station.

The 2019 fiscal plan, which includes a 10-year spending blueprint, is not formal legislation, and final congressional budget measures rarely conform to presidential proposals.

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.

Wörner sees a continuing demand for research in Earth orbit and predicted: "We will need experiments under conditions of weightlessness in low earth orbit beyond 2024".

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.

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To ensure a smooth transition, the White House would ask the private sector to provide market analyses and development plans, the Post reported.

WFIRST's cancellation is "due to its significant cost and [the presence of] higher priorities within NASA", according to the budget overview.

His company's plan is to attach its own compartments to the existing International Space Station and, once the decision is made to dismantle the complex, detach its segment and continue orbiting on its own.

"It's a good place for the conversation to begin", said Andrew Rush, CEO of Made in Space, which uses 3D printing to build hardware for space.

Private businesses are already involved in several space projects.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which represents companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, was open to the proposal, but said defunding the station before 2028 "would not allow sufficient time" for a private-sector transition. Drug companies like Merck and Eli Lilly have used the space station to research medications. "We look forward to working together with the Administration and Congress to preserve American leadership in space with the resources to match". There's only two crew missions a year.

NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, called the plan "very exciting" with lots of potential, despite what he said were some hard decisions that went into it.

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