NASA Is Planning To Privatize International Space Station

The NASA document says that ending federal support of the ISS doesn't mean it will necessarily come down, as "it is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements of capabilities of the ISS of a future commercial platform".

The International Space Station or ISS is a low-orbit space station was developed jointly by the U.S. space agency NASA and its Russian counterpart.

The US has reportedly spent almost $US100 billion ($A140 billion) to build and operate the ISS.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz last week said he hoped reports of NASA's decision to end funding of the station "prove as unfounded as Bigfoot".

"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".

The fate of the ISS could hinge on a NASA feasibility study into whether the life of the iconic station could be extended to 2028 or beyond.

Are you a small-government conservative who wants to keep the federal government out of zero gravity?

According to Space.com, NASA spokesman Rob Navias said: 'The countdown ended just seconds before liftoff with an abort command that was sent from the blockhouse at Baikonur'.

Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the plan also could prove sticky with the station's global partners.

"It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the worldwide agreements that the United States is involved in".

Aeronautics giant Boeing now operates the station - which weighs roughly 460 tons - on behalf of NASA.

Other space agencies like the European Space Agency, Japan's JAXA, and Russia's Roscosmos also contribute to the ISS, and while a lapse in funding from the United States could cripple the station regardless, selling off parts of it could create conflict with the numerous other space agencies involved.

The internal NASA document included few details of exactly how the privatisation of the station would work.

The White House will seek market analyses and development plans from the private sector to ensure a smooth transition.

"NASA and the International Space Station partnership is committed to full scientific and technical research on the orbiting laboratory, as it is the foundation on which we will extend human presence deeper into space", a NASA spokesman said in a statement. NASA would just be one of the ISS or that theoretical future private space station's clients, reversing the current arrangement where NASA personnel and their worldwide partners manage the station and conduct onboard experiments.

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