"Numbskulls!" --NASA: The Trump administration Wants to Privatize the International Space Station

Russian rocket to reach International Space Station in record breaking time

GETTYRussian rocket to reach International Space Station in record breaking time

The report says a NASA document indicates the White House plans to withdraw funding for the ISS after 2024 and turn the station over to the private sector.

The Washington Post reported on Sunday that, according to a NASA document it obtained, the Trump administration is proposing to make the International Space Station a privately run enterprise by the end of 2025.

A budget request to be issued today by the Trump administration will call for US$150 million (RM593 million) to be spent on the ISS in the 2019 fiscal year, and more in succeeding years, "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 International Space Station or ISS is a low-orbit space station was developed jointly by the U.S. space agency NASA and its Russian counterpart.

The plan to privatize the station is likely to run into a wall of opposition, especially since the United States has spent almost $100 billion to build and operate it.

Mr Cruz said the decision was the result of "numbskulls" at the Office of Management and Budget.

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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.

The move could present a major roadblock to space exploration.

Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the plan also could prove sticky with the station's worldwide partners.

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

"NASA and the International Space Station partnership is committed to full scientific and technical research on the orbiting laboratory, as it is the foundation on which we will extend human presence deeper into space", a NASA spokesman said in a statement. The supposed plan would end federal funding of the ISS in 2025, at which point a transition would occur in which the private sector would take over ISS ownership and operations.

The first section of the orbital station was launched in 1998.

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