"Bigelow Aerospace applauds the focus on commercial partnerships for low Earth orbit and lunar exploration and stands ready to partner with NASA and others", CEO Robert Bigelow said in a statement to CNBC.
The resupply mission will be the first of six, as the company won the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contract in 2016 to transport cargo to and from the ISS. "This includes learning about the human physiology of spaceflight and enabling new industry partners to bring to bear their capabilities and emerge as leaders in their own right to help us on this journey". The white house proposal released on Monday says, "The budget proposes to end direct United States financial support for the International Space Station in 2025, after which NASA would rely on commercial partners for its low Earth orbit research and technology demonstration requirements". "We figure that will be around the mid- 20's".
As previously reported, federal funding for the space station would be phased out in 2025, in order to shift more resources to beyond-Earth exploration. 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".
Some private businesses have already dabbled in space exploration and have contributed to the International Space Station project. The ISS, on the other hand, has cost the USA government $100 billion.
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Boeing, which operates the ISS for NASA, also opposes Trump's plan.
From a financial standpoint, what investor would be willing to rent or buy real estate on the ISS?
Turning the ISS over to the private sector could still prove tricky, even if it's made into a desirable object for sale. The ISS, after all, has largely been used for research purposes. First and foremost, the ISS is a collaborative effort involving many allies and partners. This includes inviting commercial vendors to take over USA station operations in 2025.
The spending plan also calls for the development of commercial lunar landers, such as those proposed by ventures ranging from Moon Express and Astrobotic to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.
In addition, the work being done in the International Space Station now does not have commercial applications in mind.
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READ NEXT: What would it have been like to witness the Big Bang? The station allows worldwide crews to conduct scientific research in the environment of low Earth orbit. Instead, each CEO emphasized the ISS as a stepping stone to establishing commercial operations in low Earth orbit.
NASA has spent close to $100 billion on the orbiting outpost since the 1990s.
Actual details on how the government plans to hand over the ISS to the private sector were not mentioned in the internal Nasa document, notes the report.
The space agency next year would invest $150 million as an initial investment in commercial capabilities that by 2025 would provide a "seamless transition" from NASA's existing ISS program.
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