As per a WaPo report on Sunday, the self made billionaire and America’s first true-businessman turned POTUS is looking to transform the International Space Station into a commercial venture, run and funded by the private industry. The White House plan hopes to save a lot of taxpayers dollars, which are currently being wasted on a very costly program, over the next few years and it involves privatizing the low orbit International Space Station, which was developed with the Russians and it’s piloted by NASA.
According to a NASA internal document obtained by the Washington Post, let me quote:
“The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time. It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform. NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit,”
President Trump’s administration will issue a budget request on Monday, which will ask for $150,000,000 to be spent in the 2019 fiscal year on the International Space Station, and more in the future, “to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS… are operational when they are needed.”
The private sector (Elon Musk maybe?) will be asked to step up to the plate and provide development plans and market analyses, yet Trump’s idea will definitely face stiff opposition, since the US already spent $100 billion to launch, support and operate the International Space Station. The thing is, NASA has already subcontracted certain support operations for the ISS, supply flights respectively, which are now carried out by Orbital ATK and SpaceX companies.