Could the International Space Station become a commercial venture run by private industry?
With the Trump administration's plan to hand off the International Space Station (ISS) to the private sector, the key question is who will emerge as the big players.
According to U.S. government, the proposed $150 million will be used to create a programme to help prepare private companies or commercial entities to take over the ISS operations over the next seven years, as reported by BBC.
But any transition to a more private-sector operation using any part of the International Space Station would be hard given the lab's design. "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.
The spacecraft is loaded with 1,940 pounds of propellant to help raise the station's orbit, about 100 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 3,128 pounds of dry cargo, including spare parts and science gear.
The 2019 fiscal plan, which includes a 10-year spending blueprint, is not formal legislation, and final congressional budget measures rarely conform to presidential proposals. The US government has also proposed a $150m (£108m) for ISS to encourage commercial deployment at the space station.
The International Space Station was photographed from the space shuttle Atlantis as a shuttle departed the orbiting complex for the final time in the early hours of July 19, 2011.
Wörner sees a continuing demand for research in Earth orbit and predicted: "We will need experiments under conditions of weightlessness in low earth orbit beyond 2024".
Another Court Just Told Trump To Keep DACA - For Now
However, the administration did not provide "legally adequate reasons for doing so". He said President Trump's termination of DACA was "arbitrary and capricious".
"In short, we are once again on a path to return to the moon with an eye toward Mars", said Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator.
"The administration's budget for NASA is a nonstarter", said U.S. Sen.
Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the plan also could prove sticky with the station's worldwide partners. Mr. Lightfoot had this to say about the President's new budget for NASA. Andrew Rush, chief executive of 3-D printing company Made In Space, said plainly that the ISS isn't built for profit seeking.
Private companies have also been handling supplies delivery to the space station for the past six years, according to the Post.
Private businesses are already involved in several space projects. Drug companies like Merck and Eli Lilly have used the space station to research medications.
It was an historic day here in Huntsville as the Marshall Space Flight Center hosted the State of NASA Address.
Donald Trump has asked the NASA to step up its efforts on human crew missions to deep space, a priority that brings together elected officials from both sides.