Russian Space Station Resupply Mission Aborted At Last Minute

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The Trump administration is considering privatizing the International Space Station (ISS), and end funding to the orbiting international lab after 2024, a senior NASA official confirmed to Fox News.

The goal of that effort would be to have commercial facilities in operation by the time NASA funding for the ISS ends in 2025, with NASA potentially being a customer of those facilities to support its research needs, such as for exploration beyond Earth orbit.

"It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform".

The US has already spent almost $100 billion on building and operating the ISS, which has some members of government a little uneasy about claims of selling it off to the highest bidder.

Boeing now operates the station for NASA, which costs $3 to $4 billion annually. Due to the delays, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the certifications are likely to "slip into" December 2019 for SpaceX and February 2020 for Boeing.

"As a fiscal conservative, you know one of the dumbest things you can do is cancel programs after billions in investment when there is still serious usable life ahead", said Republican Senator from the state of Texas, Ted Cruz.

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

When asked about the possibility of a public-private partnership, Cruz added, "I think all of us are open to reasonable proposals that are cost-effective and that are utilizing the investments we've made in a way that maximizes their effectiveness".

According to the Washington Post, the United States plan involves privatizing the ISS, a low-orbit space laboratory piloted by the American space agency NASA and developed jointly with its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos.

"It's inherently always going to be an global construct that requires US government involvement and multinational cooperation", he explained.

According to the document, the White House is working on a transition plan that will turn the International Space Station over to the private sector after funding stops by 2025.

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

For the sake of the United States, the Earth, and the future, hopefully, the Trump Administration does not move forward with the plan to turn over the International Space Station to the private sector.

The proposal doesn't say what companies would take over or what private enterprise might want to do with the station.

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