Feb 11, 2018

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.

Go deeper

2 mins ago - World

Kremlin says Trump discussed inviting Russia to G7 in call with Putin

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their bilateral meeting at the G20 Osaka Summit 2019, in Osaka, Japan in 2019. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Monday about Trump's plans to expand September's G7 meeting in Washington to include Russia, according to the Russian government's readout of the call.

The big picture: The phone call between the two leaders comes amid six consecutive days of mass unrest in the U.S. over police brutality and racial inequality. The White House confirmed the call took place and said a readout was forthcoming.

Facebook employees stage "virtual walkout"

Screenshot of an image some Facebook employees are adding to their internal profiles, with or without the hashtag, to protest company policy.

"Dozens" of Facebook employees staged a "virtual walkout" Monday over the company's decision not to take action against President Trump's provocative messages in the face of nationwide protests against police violence, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: While Twitter added fact-check labels and hid the president's most inflammatory tweet — "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — Facebook has said Trump's statements do not violate its policies, and that the platform aims to promote free speech.

Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump lashes out at governors, urges them to "dominate" protesters

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: Trump blamed violence on the "the radical left" and told the governors, who were joined by law enforcement and national security officials, that they have to "dominate" protesters and "arrest people" in order to bring an end to the unrest.