Trump wants to privatize the International Space Station

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But according to a NASA document obtained by the Washington Post, the administration has high hopes that they can sell off the internationally operated station from the public sector into the private sector, with a major implication that it would be turned into a real estate venture. It is entirely possible for industry representatives to continue to manage certain elements or functions of the ISS within a future commercial platform.

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

Now a new frontier of pulling back on the ISS has been unveiled by draft budget documents circulating within the Trump Administration.

"As a fiscal conservative, you know one of the dumbest things you can to is cancel programmes after billions in investment when there is still serious usable life ahead", Texas senator Ted Cruz was quoted as saying by the Post.

NASA is still looking into the ISS' shelf-life and, as part of its research, believes it could still be serviceable until 2028.

"The ISS is built for science and human exploration, it's not built for profit-seeking", said Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, which manufactures objects for the space station using 3-D printing. Anyone who would take the station over would either need to understand that, or refit it for another objective - namely as a base of operations ahead of jumping out further into our solar system.

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"It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the global agreements that the United States is involved in", he said. "It's inherently always going to be an worldwide construct that requires US government involvement and multi-national cooperation".

Aeronautics giant Boeing now operates the station - which weighs roughly 460 tons - on behalf of NASA. Boeing, for their part, was opposed to selling off the station, with Mark Mulqueen (Boeing's space station program manager) claiming that the United States would be throwing away a leadership position in the scientific community.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

The proposal doesn't say what companies would take over or what private enterprise might want to do with the station. As the Guardian noted, since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011 NASA has no means to get astronauts into space and now relies on Russian Soyuz rockets to get them to the ISS; private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin won't launch manned missions to low Earth orbit until this September at the earliest. President Obama extended that model to hire Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts there.

It didn't immediately propose what private enterprise might do with the station or what companies might take it over.

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