Launch of Russian cargo mission to space station aborted

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". In other words, to transition to some sort of a public-private partnership.The document says NASA will expand global and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to "ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit".

The Post reported Sunday that an internal NASA document it obtained says, "It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform".

The report came ahead of the White House's budget proposal for next fiscal year, expected to be released Monday, which the Post said includes a funding request aimed at ensuring that "commercial successors to the ISS" are operational.

The station is a joint project of several space-faring nations, and NASA has contracted with private companies, like Boeing and SpaceX, to reach it in recent years. The proposal envisions an environment where NASA is "one of many customers of a non-governmental human space flight managed and operated enterprise" at the ISS.

Not surprisingly, this proposal isn't incredibly popular. Sen.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz last week said he hoped reports of NASA's decision to end funding of the station "prove as unfounded as Bigfoot".

"The ISS is built for science and human exploration, its not built for profit seeking", said Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, a company that uses 3-D printing to manufacture objects on the space station.

The fate of the ISS could hinge on a NASA feasibility study into whether the life of the iconic station could be extended to 2028 or beyond. Frank Slazar, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, pointed out to the Post that the worldwide agreements the United States signed regarding the creation of the ISS would render making it a commercial outpost tricky. Although: Trump tweeted his congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX earlier this week.

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