New Delhi: The White House wishes to make the International Space Station (ISS) a commercial venture run by a private industry, with funding for the costly program within a few years.
According to the Washington Post, the US plan involves privatizing the ISS, a low-orbit space laboratory piloted by the American space agency NASA and developed jointly with its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos.
The station has allowed international crews — notably in collaboration with the Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies — to pursue scientific research in the environment of a low Earth orbit.
"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," says an internal NASA document obtained by the Post. "It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform."
"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 document says. A budget request to be issued today by the Trump administration will call for YSD 150 million to be spent on the ISS in the 2019 fiscal year, and more in succeeding years, "to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial...