Could the International Space Station become a private enterprise? This seems to be the wish of the White House which will seize funding for this very expensive program by 2025. But, the ISS funding cancelation may open new roads for space exploration
The US future plan involves the privatization of ISS
The ISS has allowed international teams to conduct scientific research in a low-gravity environment.
“The decision to end federal support for ISS by 2025 does not imply that the platform will be removed from orbit (…) The industry may still be able to operate certain ISS elements or capabilities at a future commercial platform (…) NASA will expand its international and trade partnerships in the next seven years to further ensure people’s access to and presence in Earth’s low orbit,” according to a NASA document.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, the White House will require the private sector to provide market analyzes and development plans.
Beginning with George W. Bush’s administration (2001-2009), NASA has subcontracted some ISS support operations, including the supply flights currently made by SpaceX and Orbital ATK, a trend that has developed during the Obama presidency.
The ISS “death” may open new roads for space exploration
The Trump’s administration budget for 2019 doesn’t include much support for NASA’s observation missions, asking the space agency’s officials to focus on space exploration and future human missions on Moon and, eventually Mars.
NASA plans on launching a space station that will orbit the Moon. The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (formerly known as Deep Space Gateway) will be able to observe the dark side of the Moon and to offer precious data regarding future Lunar bases construction.
When it comes to human missions on the Moon or Mars, NASA is saying they don’t have enough money for these. The ISS “death” may open new roads for space exploration and some private entrepreneurs, Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) may join to the new space race.