Trump’s latest real estate venture – space.
The Trump administration is proposing ending federal financing of the International Space Station to permit private business to take over funding the orbiting laboratory, according to the Washington Post.
After a transition period, the federal government would cease direct financing after 2024, the newspaper stated, citing NASA documents.
“The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time — it is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” the doc says. “NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit.”
The administration will request $150 million in 2019 “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.”
The plan to denationalise the station — the most important single human construction ever put in space — is anticipated to attract out-of-this-world criticism because the US has spent almost $100 billion to construct and maintain it, the Washington Post stated.
The station, which travels at about 17,500 miles an hour at an altitude of 248 miles, costs about $1.1 billion a year to function and maintain.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz stated last week he hopes reports about the potential for ending funding “prove as unfounded as ‘Bigfoot.’”
“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,” he stated.
The station was constructed between 1998 and 2011 and has been visited by 230 people from 18 nations, space.com mentioned.