US Wants to Privatise NASA's International Space Station, Says Report

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

Russian Federation already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE's newly released 2019 budget proposal seeks to end USA government funding for the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025.

The White House will release its fiscal year 2019 budget for the space agency at 1pm ET today, and although Congress sets the budget for the United States, this document offers a good overview of the Trump administration's plans for NASA. Under Trump's proposed budget, Washington would pull governmental funding and instead provide a budget of $150 million (122 million euros) to encourage the involvement of private enterprise in the ISS. However, many public and private stakeholders of the ISS are targeting an extension for the space station program until 2028. "Turning off the lights and walking away from our sole outpost in space at a time when we're pushing the frontiers of exploration makes no sense".

The United States has spent almost US$100 billion to build and operate the station orbiting around the earth at more than 17,000 miles per hour. With the US cutting its support for the station, it would most likely rely on public-private partnerships, with bulk of the station's upkeep being shouldered by private companies.

"The administration's budget for NASA is a nonstarter". Congress earlier this month passed a spending package that set limits through the end of the next budget year. NASA sends probes out into space.

The budget also confirms the cancellation of five Earth-science missions proposed for termination past year. "So the investment made in that and the development activities made in that, unless something happens relativity quickly in the commercial market to offset that in low-earth orbit could be an impact", Frank Slazer, vice president of space systems at the Aerospace Industries Association, told FOX Business, regarding the impact privatization could have on Boeing and SpaceX. The end of the shuttle program prompted NASA to turn over supply runs to the commercial sector.

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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. "We were very pleased, we thought the administration showed confidence in the USA that we can accomplish something not just for NASA but for the nation".

The administration's plan, he said, may be "to find a way in those three years to have the private sector use enough of the station to see whether there's a justification for a post-station LEO (low-Earth orbit) platform that would be commercial". No company would accept the liabilities and risks associated with the station, he said, if the sprawling complex went out of control and came crashing down.

The $19.9 billion budget has recommended the elimination of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope. No man has returned to the moon since December 11th, 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.

"In short, we are once again on a path to return to the moon with an eye toward Mars", said Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator. WFIRST was a mission that the National Academies of Science listed as the decade's No. 1 priority for future NASA astrophysics missions. The mission's estimated cost is somewhere between $3.2 and $3.9 billion.

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