18 May 2018
The AFP reports that the Trump administration’s plan to privatize the ISS in 2025 has “met with strong opposition from lawmakers,” including some Republicans. Speaking during a hearing Thursday, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) said that there would be “not much” potential savings from defunding the ISS, adding, “That’s not going to get us back to the Moon, that’s not going to get us elsewhere.” NASA spends between $3 billion to $4 billion on ISS funding annually. Institute for Defense Analysis researcher Bhavya Lala estimated that because the US would continue to pay for research and exploration missions, the savings would amount to no more than $1 billion per year. Lala also said, “It is unlikely that a commercial space station would be economically viable by 2025.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said at a hearing Wednesday that Congress “is the final arbiter of how long the ISS receives federal funding,” and that the ISS will be funded as long as he chairs the Space Subcommittee. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) criticized the idea of ISS privatization as “irresponsible at best and probably disastrous.” (Image: ISS. Credit: NASA/Crew of STS-132 | Wikipedia)
More Info (AFP)