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NASA budget proposal plans of NASA funding of ISS, seeks commercial transition

15 February, 2018, 07:13 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Russian rocket to reach International Space Station in record breaking time

The budget will focus NASA on the exploration missions and reinforce the value of the United States in their knowledge and discoveries while deepening partnerships internationally.

Retired NASA historian and Smithsonian curator Roger Launius notes that any such move will affect all the other countries involved in the space station; Russian Federation is a major player, as is Europe, Japan and Canada. The U.S. now pays between $3 billion and $4 billion per year to operate the ISS, and since 1993, has spent about $87 billion to build and operate the space lab.

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 government has cited higher priorities at the US space agency for backing the cancellation. "So the investment made in that and the development activities made in that, unless something happens relativity quickly in the commercial market to offset that in low-earth orbit could be an impact", Frank Slazer, vice president of space systems at the Aerospace Industries Association, told FOX Business, regarding the impact privatization could have on Boeing and SpaceX.

CASIS said Monday it doesn't know what a commercially run space station would look like, but "looks forward to working with both the Administration and Congress on the future of the International Space Station".

Private companies have made it clear that they are not yet prepared to be fully involved with the station by the time US funding ends in 2024.

And for the second straight year, the Trump administration proposes killing five missions that study Earth, especially its climate and the effects of carbon dioxide. NASA sends probes out into space.

NASA could stop funding to the International Space Station after 2024, at which point a commercial venture could take over. No company would accept the liabilities and risks associated with the station, he said, if the sprawling complex went out of control and came crashing down.

The 2019 budget proposal wants to increase NASA funding to 3 percent and the Trump administration has proposed $19.6bn for NASA in 2019, an increase of $500m from the current year.

In 2015, Congress guaranteed funding for the USA part of the International Space Station until 2024.

According to the Washington Post report, the Trump administration wants to extend the public-private partnership one step further to encourage "the emergence of an environment in [low-Earth orbit] where NASA is one of many customers of a non-governmental human space flight managed and operated enterprise, while providing a smooth and uninterrupted transition". A test launch of this system would remain on track for 2020, with a first crewed launch around the moon three years later, according to budget details.

NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said that we are once again on a path to return to the moon with an eye toward Mars.

The WFIRST was in line after the James Webb Space Telescope, which is going to be launched in 2019, as the next big thing in astronomy mission.

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