Today's Top Space Headline: NASA's 'Guardian of the Galaxy' --"We are On the Verge of Becoming a Spacefaring Species"
Today's "Planet Earth Report" --World Leaders Hold a Secret Meeting On Fate of AI --"We Will Cease Being the Only Sentient Species on the Planet"

“Numbskulls!” --NASA: The Trump Administration Wants to Privatize the International Space Station

 
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“The ISS is built for science and human exploration, it’s not built for profit seeking,” said Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, a company that uses 3-D printing to manufacture objects on the space station.

The plan to privatize the station is likely to run into a wall of opposition, especially since the United States has spent nearly $100 billion to build and operate it. Last week, reports the Washington Post, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said he hoped recent reports of NASA’s decision to end funding of the station “prove as unfounded as Bigfoot.” He said the decision was the result of “numbskulls” at the Office of Management and Budget.

 
The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry.

The White House plans to stop funding for the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory. But it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether, and is working on a transition plan that could turn the station over to the private sector, according to an internal NASA document obtained by The Washington Post.

“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,” the document states. “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.”

In its budget request to be released Monday, the administration would request $150 million in fiscal year 2019, with more in additional years, “to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS—potentially including elements of the ISS—are operational when they are needed.”

“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,” Cruz said.

When asked about the possibility of a public-partnership, he said, "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."

NASA is currently studying whether the life of the station could be extended to 2028, or beyond, and he said any decision should hinge on that report.

Continue reading...

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Comments

I think we should GIVE it to SpaceX an put it in a Mars orbit! And once
in orbit, have a space elevator to lower supplies to the surface. They would
make a good transfer station, so space shuttles could dock with the MarSS
and resupply Marsnauts below. Why waste it in earth orbit?

He should name Elon Musk the director for life of NASA. We will see than how senators will try to continue the state money drain through NASA when dealing with a real man, not the usual puppet.

NASA has been planning for years to decommission the International Space Station. In NASA's mind, "decommissioning" has meant "deorbiting". Crashing the ISS into the south Pacific ocean. That's a BAD idea.

If it comes down to NASA deorbiting the ISS, or SELLING it - to SpaceX, to ULA, to Trump Hotels - I'd rather keep it UP THERE. It doesn't much matter WHO owns it, as long as it's UP THERE.

This used to be a fairly interesting site to skim over for space and science news... what happened over the past couple years... I could tolerate the climate armageddon clickbait stories as they brought readers $$$ but now they've gone Trump drunk... sadly I think it's time to move on, good luck with your site I hope you make lots of money... peace

Used to be a daily visitor to your site. But I really can't stand your blatant Trump bashing just for the sake of bashing.

Where were you when Obama cut NASA funding that has now made it so that NASA HAS to rely on private companies for launching into space?

Oh, right, just like 99% of the Internet and media, its only bad when a Republican does it.

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