White House wants to privatize International Space Station

The rocket will arrive at the International Space Station at 12:24pm

Roscosmos TwitterThe rocket will arrive at the International Space Station at 12:24pm

The administration's plan comes after a week of rumors that it might end stop directing resources toward the 20-year-old laboratory, which NASA launched in partnership with space agencies from other countries.

As part of a congressionally-mandated ISS transition plan yet to be released, NASA examined several options for the station's future, according to that document.

Former astronaut Mark Kelly recently wrote in the New York Times that while there has been a surge of commercial activity in low-Earth orbit in the past few years, it would "come to a screeching halt" if the ISS and its government-funded scientific missions which now make those ventures possible were halted.

The administration will reportedly ask for $150 million in the 2019 fiscal year in its budget request on Monday.

"I hope that those reports prove as unfounded as Bigfoot", Cruz told the 21 Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference last week. He said the decision was the result of "numbskulls" at the Office of Management and Budget.

"As a fiscal conservative, you know one of the dumbest things you can to is cancel programs after billions in investment when there is still serious usable life ahead", Sen.

An intruder slid down the giant ramp during Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
Also present was Mr Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, who is leading the ranking delegation, Xinhua reported . They're having a ball if pictures taken of them at the event in Pyeongchang, South Korea , are anything to go by.

But some questioned who would want to take over the station. Not only is the ISS used as a place for science and human exploration, but turning a profit from research projects just isn't what it was built for.

Yet it seems like a national progression (or at least on the same wavelength) for the Trump administration to float the idea of privatizing the International Space Station (ISS), so it can operate as a sort-of real estate venture.

"It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the worldwide agreements that the United States is involved in", he said. "It's inherently always going to be an worldwide construct that requires United States government involvement and multinational cooperation".

Boeing now operates the station for NASA, which costs $3 to $4 billion annually.

The station has allowed global crews - notably in collaboration with the Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies - to pursue scientific research in LEO conditions.

The proposal doesn't say what companies would take over or what private enterprise might want to do with the station. However, the government "will request market analysis and business plans from the commercial sector and solicit plans from commercial industry". Russian Federation in particular has expressed an interest in developing its own space station after the ISS, potentially using some of the modules the country's space agency, Roscosmos, plans to add to its segment of the station in the next few years.

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