Russian cargo ship takes off for space station

Russian cargo ship takes off for space station

Russian cargo ship takes off for space station

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 Trump administration aims to privatize the International Space Station by 2025, redirecting NASA's investment in the orbiting laboratory complex toward a lunar exploration program. The budget would set aside only $150 million to encourage private development of the station, and devote the savings to Trump's goal of sending astronauts once again to the moon. Lightfoot noted this could mean a continued support of the Space Station or developing "stand-alone platforms" - presumably a new orbiting station developed and maintained by a private company.

The transition of the station would mark another bold step for NASA in turning over access to what's known as low Earth orbit to the private sector so that the space agency could focus its resources on exploring deep space.

The U.S. has contributed roughly $100 billion to the ISS since its creation in the 1990s.

Overall, NASA would receive a slight top-line funding increase next year, from $19.5 billion to $19.9 billion.

Air travel giant Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX are now at work on crew capsule to send USA astronauts to the space station via commercial flight, according to the Post.

The potential is there for private companies to capitalize on a chance to control the ISS and the low Earth orbit it resides in.

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A report on the tech website The Verge said a draft of the budget proposal anticipated ending funding for the space station after 2024, which the Post report followed up with news that the administration was looking to keep the ISS operational, but not on its dime or under its authority.

A Russian Progress cargo ship carrying three tons of supplies and equipment blasted off from Kazakhstan early Tuesday and set off after the International Space Station.

His plans for ISS and the Nasa space programme were unveiled in his 2019 budget proposal. With the US cutting its support for the station, it would most likely rely on public-private partnerships, with bulk of the station's upkeep being shouldered by private companies.

The budget to be proposed for NASA later today will offer some preliminary support for a lunar exploration program, but has no specific timelines for when humans might return to the surface of the Moon-nor funding to make such an ambitious undertaking happen.

As it prepares a transition plan, the White House said it "will request market analysis and business plans from the commercial sector and solicit plans from commercial industry". The transition draft says NASA will continue to consult with its global partners "to ensure consensus". Andrew Rush, chief executive of 3-D printing company Made In Space, said plainly that the ISS isn't built for profit seeking.

Private businesses are already involved in several space projects. Both nations are required for the space station to function with any degree of safety using separate flight control centers.

If all goes according to plan, the agency will launch a "power and propulsion space tug", a component of NASA's planned outpost in near-moon space, in 2022. "NASA is called to refocus existing activities towards exploration, by redirecting funding to innovative new programmes and support for new public-private initiatives", acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.

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