US wants to privatize space station

Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed turning over to private businesses U.S. operations on the International Space Station, which is now run jointly by the U.S. and Russian governments.

The proposal also calls for spending $150 million in 2019 to "encourage commercial development" and tee up companies to take over.

The newly unveiled request gives some more details about NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon, a focus that President Donald Trump made official with the signing of "Space Policy Directive 1" in December.

NASA now spends about $3 billion a year on station operations and support, maintaining the U.S. segment of the outpost, supplying spare parts and other critical cargo and buying seats aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry U.S., European, Canadian and Japanese astronauts to and from the outpost.

The 2019 NASA budget would be $19.9 billion, but it would drop down to $19.6 billion for the next several years.

But the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 directed NASA "to develop a plan to transition ISS from the current regime that relies heavily on NASA sponsorship to a regime where NASA could be one of many customers of a LEO non-governmental human space flight enterprise".

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which represents companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, was open to the proposal, but said defunding the station before 2028 "would not allow sufficient time" for a private-sector transition.

An artist's rendering of NASA's Space Launch System rocket taking flight. NASA is in charge of US science and technology that has to do with airplanes or space.




Cochair of the WFIRST research team, David Spergel, who is an astrophysicist at the Princeton University, thinks that it is bad that space astronomy leadership is being abandoned, following the recommendation of the Trump administration to cut the mission. Even if it weren't, it's not clear how a privatized space station could operate.

A complete transfer to the commercial sector is a different matter, however. Last month, as reports circulated about NASA pulling the plug on the station, Mark Mulqueen, Boeing's space station program manager, said "walking away from the International Space Station now would be a mistake, threatening American leadership and hurting the commercial market as well as the scientific community".

SpaceX and Boeing, meanwhile, are developing crew capsules to fly astronauts to and from the space station within the next year.

His company's plan is to attach its own compartments to the existing International Space Station and, once the decision is made to dismantle the complex, detach its segment and continue orbiting on its own.

Lightfoot ended things by saying we are once again on a path to return to the Moon with an eye towards Mars.

NASA in 2022 hopes to launch the first portion of a small station to be placed in orbit around the moon. Among them: the proposed end of WFIRST, a telescope with 100 times the field of view of the Hubble Space Telescope.

In an agency-wide address, NASA's acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said it was a "very exciting" budget with lots of potential, despite some hard decisions.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Buzz | Oxfam's deputy chief executive resigns in Haiti scandal
Feb 14, 2018 - 19:19
Meanwhile, actress Minnie Driver has become the first celebrity to quit as an Oxfam ambassador following the Haiti revelations. While the accusations go back to 2011, it has been in the news after the Times published a report about it on February 9.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chelsea bomber sentenced to rot away in prison
Feb 14, 2018 - 19:18
But, he added, "I have come to understand why there is such a big frustration between Muslims overseas and the American people". While speaking in court Rahimi placed blame on the Federal Bureau of Investigation for not acting on his father's warning.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Google is bringing Instant one-tap replies to messaging apps
Feb 14, 2018 - 19:16
Pegged "Reply", the feature would use artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest one-tap responses to incoming messages. Reply puts the Smart Reply you may know from Google right into notifications from the chat apps you use most often.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Captures Record-Breaking Images
Feb 14, 2018 - 19:14
Until now, the photo was taken farther away from Earth than any image ever, a record that stood for more than 27 years. Were you impressed by New Horizons' achievement? It is now about 41 times as far from Earth as Earth is from the sun.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Google has changed emails massively, and it's here to stay
Feb 14, 2018 - 19:01
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP ) was launched in October 2015 to improve the performance of the mobile web. With Gmail on AMP, developers can create newer, more interactive and actionable email experiences, says the company.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top A rare royal hug for a Meghan Markle fan
Feb 14, 2018 - 19:01
In her and Prince Harry's official engagement photos , Markle's Ralph & Russo sheer dress was considered a bold choice by some. The wedding ceremony will take place at 12pm on May, 19 at St George's Chapel.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Clemson Projected As A 3 Seed In March
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:35
The committee is no longer using RPI top 50, top 100, top 200, and 201 and above as five dividing categories. Villanova was No. 1 in the East, Xavier tops in the Midwest Region and Purdue No. 1 in the West Region.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top West finishes 26th in Olympic luge; teammate wins silver
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:31
On Sunday, he'll try to win a historic medal for Team U.S.A using the same technique that has proven effective for him so far. Germany's Johannes Ludwig took bronze, finishing 0.204 behind the American silver medalist.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Nationwide Pizza Day: Discovering Scrumptious Offers Is Simple-as-Pie
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:26
Pizza Hut lists its current deals on their website , including an online-only special for a $7.99 large two-topping pizza. Whole Foods: Large take-and-bake pizza for $9.99 in the prepared foods department.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Asma Jahangir, a moderate face of Pakistan, passes away
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:23
Nobel prize victor Malala Yousafzai remarked: "Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir - a saviour of democracy and human rights ". She was a staunch critic of Zia-ul-Haq's policies especially regarding implementing religious laws. "It's everyone's loss.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Southampton boss Pellegrino: Stephens stepping up thanks to Van Dijk sale
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:22
Liverpool have officially named their starting side and substitutes to lock horns with Southampton in a Premier League clash at St Mary's this afternoon.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UFC 221 results: Full winners, analysis and reaction from Romero vs. Rockhold
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:21
He connected with a double jab and then fired an overhand left that dropped Rockhold onto the seat of his trousers near the cage. A knee injury forced Rockhold to withdraw from a fight with Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza later that year.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Red Gerard on winning gold medal: 'I'm feeling absolutely insane right now'
Feb 12, 2018 - 01:02
Parrot, 23, captured silver with his best score of 86.00 while McMorris, 24, captured bronze with his best score of 85.20. Canadian Max Parrot , who had fallen on each of his first two runs, then nailed his final run for the silver medal.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Omarosa Has Added Hospitalization To Her Busy 'Celebrity Big Brother' Stay
Feb 11, 2018 - 05:15
I mean, I did, but I didn't, you know what I mean? She looks to be using the " Big Brother " house cameras to do just that. The U.S.' inaugural season of Celebrity Big Brother premiered Wednesday night on CBS. "She has no contact now", he said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top HomePod Vs. Google Home Max: Comparison Of Price, Features, Sound
Feb 11, 2018 - 05:13
It stands just under 7-inches tall, and besides invoking "Hey Siri", you can control HomePod by tapping the top of the speaker. Siri doesn't know any, while Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa both tie for groaningly terrible dad joke of the year.