WH Considers Space Station Privatization

As the Post notes, the station is no stranger to private industry; Boeing now operates it at a cost of $3 to $4 billion a year.

The United States spent almost $US100 billion to build and operate it the ISS and any sell off would likely face strong opposition. NASA would just be one of the ISS or that theoretical future private space station's clients, reversing the current arrangement where NASA personnel and their global partners manage the station and conduct onboard experiments.

'NASA will expand worldwide and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit, ' the document said.

The White House's budget request for the fiscal year ending in September 2019 - which is set to be released Monday - will ask for $150 million "to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS-potentially including elements of the ISS-are operational when they are needed".

The plans to capitalize on space privatization are still in the works and the White House "will request market analysis and business plans from the commercial sector and solicit plans from commercial industry", according to the Post. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last week, according to the Washington Post.

Cruz also said that he hoped the recent reports that NASA might cancel funding "prove as unfounded as Bigfoot, ' and blamed the decision on the 'numskulls" at the Office of Management and Budget.


Privatizing the ISS a wasteful idea.

The space-station proposal is of a piece with large overall budget cuts to NASA envisioned by the Trump administration as part of its 2018 budget. Andrew Rush, chief executive of 3-D printing company Made In Space, said plainly that the ISS isn't built for profit seeking.

Nasa is now studying the feasibility of extending the life of the ISS to 2028, and possibly beyond, with the White House urging the space agency to focus on landing on the moon again in preparation for further deep space missions.

To be sure, the private sector getting involved in the ISS isn't exclusive to Trump.

Russian Federation has scrubbed the planned launch of an unmanned cargo spacecraft that was to have delivered tons of supplies to the International Space Station.

It didn't immediately propose what private enterprise might do with the station or what companies might take it over. Although: Trump tweeted his congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX earlier this week.

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