NASA Is Planning To Privatize International Space Station

NASA Is Planning To Privatize International Space Station

According to NASA documents, the government intends to turn the International Space Station over to the private sector as a means of keeping it afloat without direct federal support, which is expected to end in 2025.

It's not clear how putting the station in private hands would work, since the ISS is an worldwide program involving a number of other countries.

The US plan, the paper said, involves privatising the ISS, a low-orbit space station piloted by the US space agency NASA and developed jointly with its Russian counterpart.

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

The US has reportedly spent almost $US100 billion ($A140 billion) to build and operate the ISS.

Last week, Senator Ted Cruz slammed the reports, claiming he hoped they would "prove as unfounded as Bigfoot" after the amount of money spent to operate the station.

Donald Trump has said in the past that one of NASA's top priorities will be to send people back to the moon but the budget announcement states that will not happen before he leaves office even if he is elected to a second term, the New York Times reports.

"I think all of us are open to reasonable proposals that are cost effective and that are utilizing the investments we made in a way that maximize their effectiveness".


The fate of the ISS could hinge on a NASA feasibility study into whether the life of the iconic station could be extended to 2028 or beyond.

The plan does not elaborate on which companies might be interested in the station or what the station might be used for.

The ISS, which functions as a kind of floating laboratory, is operated by Boeing on behalf of NASA at a cost of between $3 billion and $4 billion.

The internal NASA document has scant details over how the privatization of the station would work.

The station has allowed global crews - notably in collaboration with the Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies - to pursue scientific research in the environment of a low Earth orbit.

It had been reported that the Trump administration was ready to pull the plug on the space station.

It didn't immediately propose what private enterprise might do with the station or what companies might take it over.

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