Feb 11, 2018 - Politics & Policy

White House reportedly wants to privatize the International Space Station

The International Space Station. Photo: NASA

The Trump administration is considering turning the International Space Station into a private enterprise, The Washington Post reports, citing an internal NASA document it has obtained. The document also says the White House plans to stop providing government funding for the orbiting laboratory after 2024.

What we're hearing: Bob Jacobs, a senior NASA spokesperson, didn't deny the report when contacted by Axios. He said it cannot be confirmed ahead of the White House budget release on Monday.

Details: The Post says the document didn't specify how privatization of the station would work or the private companies that might take ownership. But the document did say the administration “will request market analysis and business plans from the commercial sector and solicit plans from commercial industry."

  • While the government plans to end federal support for the station by 2025, it does not mean that it would be privatized by then.
  • "[I]t is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” the NASA document states, per The Post.
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