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Trump plans to privatise ISS

12 February 2018

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.

Running the facility reportedly costs up to $4 billion each year. Boeing, for their part, was opposed to selling off the station, with Mark Mulqueen (Boeing's space station program manager) claiming that the United States would be throwing away a leadership position in the scientific community.

It said a White House budget request to be released Monday US time would request US$150 million in 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".

However, it would not be an easy task for the Trump administration and the move is expected to face severe opposition since the country has already spent around Dollars 100 billion to launch, operate and support the International Space Station.

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The International Space Station has been in low Earth orbit for almost 20 years.

Not surprisingly, this proposal isn't incredibly popular. Sen.

A Russian rocket destined for the International Space Station (ISS) cancelled its lift off just seconds before it was supposed to blast into the sky. Even if it weren't, it's not clear how a privatized space station could operate.

"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.

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To be sure, the private sector getting involved in the ISS isn't exclusive to Trump.

The administration's plan comes after a week of rumors that it might end stop directing resources toward the 20-year-old laboratory, which NASA launched in partnership with space agencies from other countries.

The plan does not elaborate on which companies might be interested in the station or what the station might be used for. Although: Trump tweeted his congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX earlier this week.

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