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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.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.