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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Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

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Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.