In a statement, NASA has started to talk with the several international companies to form a consortium which would take over the operation of the International Space Station, and it was run as a commercial space lab, as said by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
According to the Bridenstine, he said that they are in a position now from where the people who form commercial management at the International Space Station. He said this in his extensive interview in April which was done after he was sworn in as NASA administrator. He said that he has already talked with many large corporations and they are interested in getting involved in that through a consortium.
The White House has already got into a heated discussion for the future of the orbiting laboratory which is earlier this year, and it said that it is planning to end the direct government funding of the station by 2025 and it worked on the transition plan to turn the station over the private sector.
The members of the Congress said that they would be opposing any plan which aims to end the station’s life prematurely. Till now it is unclear, and no one knows who would want to take over the operations of the station. To run the ISS, NASA needs about $3 billion to $4 billion per year, and it is run by an international partnership which includes the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and European Space Agency. It is an orbiting laboratory which flies about 250 miles above the Earth’s surface, and astronauts continuously inhabit it since 2000.
The White House has offered details about the way it will work. It is now preparing for a transition plan, and White House will be requesting to analysis the market and other business plans from the commercial sector, and it will solicit the plans from commercial industry.
The nature of the international station will make it tricky, and there is a possibility of an international commercial partnership with some government role, as said by the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, Frank Slazer.
Frank added by saying that it will be very hard to make ISS to a truly commercial outpost due to the international agreement as the United States involved. It is always going to be an international construct which requires US government involvement.