Trump admin considering privatizing International Space Station

Russian rocket launch cancelled just seconds before take off

The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a commercially-run venture

The Trump administration is reportedly hoping to privatize the International Space Station.

A report on the tech website The Verge said a draft of the budget proposal anticipated ending funding for the space station after 2024, which the Post report followed up with news that the administration was looking to keep the ISS operational, but not on its dime or under its authority.

The US has reportedly spent almost $US100 billion ($A140 billion) to build and operate the ISS.

The administration will reportedly ask for $150 million in the 2019 fiscal year in its budget request on Monday.

"As a fiscal conservative, you know one of the dumbest things you can to is cancel programs after billions in investment when there is still serious usable life ahead", Cruz told the Post.

But some questioned who would want to take over the station.

The station was built between 1998 and 2011 and has been visited by 230 individuals from 18 countries, space.com said.

Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the plan also could prove sticky with the station's global partners. "It's inherently always going to be an worldwide construct that requires US government involvement and multinational cooperation".

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 operate and maintain.

The internal NASA document included few details of exactly how the privatisation of the station would work. As it prepares a transition plan, the White House said it "will request market analysis and business plans from the commercial sector and solicit plans from commercial industry".

Other space agencies like the European Space Agency, Japan's JAXA, and Russia's Roscosmos also contribute to the ISS, and while a lapse in funding from the United States could cripple the station regardless, selling off parts of it could create conflict with the numerous other space agencies involved.

Beginning during the presidency of George W. Bush (2001-2009), NASA has subcontracted certain ISS support operations, starting with the supply flights now carried out by the SpaceX and Orbital ATK companies - a trend that gained speed during the Obama presidency.

It's not clear what private company might take over the station - companies like SpaceX frequently make deliveries there, while Boeing operates the station for NASA.

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