by Countable | 1.25.18
Space exploration is not cheap. The United States spends $3-$4 billion per year funding the International Space Station, and has invested over $87 billion in it over the last 20 years. Now they are hoping to shift funding of the station to the private sector in order to free up funds for other projects, including building a permanent space station on the Moon.
The Verge reports the International Space Station, "[has] become a major hub for conducting both government and commercial experiments in microgravity, as well as testing out how the human body responds to weightlessness."
Currently the International Space Station is funded through 2024. The commercial space industry has said they are unlikely to be ready to take over funding for the station until 2028, which would lead to a gap in human activities in lower Earth orbit.
A similar gap in activity happened as a result of the canceling of Space Shuttle funding by the Obama administration in 2011. The plan was for commercial entities to take those activities over, and seven years later they’re still not ready.
The administration is scheduled to release their FY2019 budget on February 12, so station funding could be put back in by then. Even if it’s not, Congress actually writes and passes the final budget.
Assuming they can actually pass one, which hasn’t been going very smoothly in FY2018.
Should the U.S. continue to fund the International Space Station until commercial companies can take over funding, so there’s no interruption in activity? Or should the companies, along with other international partners have to step up and cover it?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Nasa.gov / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
Of course the ISS should continue to be funded through the US budget. The folly of assuming that every government function should be privatized is a recipe for disaster. Plus the fact that everything is not for sale. Those who believe it is know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
How stupid is this administration?! You want to destroy the only home we have by pulling out of the Paris Agreement, as well as, increasing offshore drilling and coal mining. So where is your logic in defunding the only possible way for us to escape the hell you are creating? If you want humanity to continue, defunding space exploration will be our death certificate.
The future is STEM. The S stands for science! The ISS is where voluminous amounts is SCIENCE are performed for the benefit of us. The Trump administration has already initiated many withdrawals of the US from the world stage and further hopes to isolate America. Don’t allow this withdrawal from ISS to push us further back into the 19th and 20th centuries.
America first in stupidity and arrogance. Why do we put up with this president and his minions?
The funding for the International Space Station is essential. If we have any desire to return to the moon or explore Mars, we need to adequately fund projects like the international space station and not ridiculous schemes to build a wall in the desert. Here’s an idea, maybe we can tax the wealthiest individuals and corporations to fund something which benefits all of humankind.
A permanent space station on the Moon! How about a permanent form of government where congress works together to run the country as the people want? How about building better schools? How about building better transportation systems? How about building a country which isn’t being torn apart by a stupid, lying bigot and a congress which supports him. There are thousands of ways to use that money to improve this country but Moon building is not one of them! That won’t put food on the table. That won’t pay for expensive medications. That won’t improve school systems. That won’t improve the environment or keep the air and water clean. What is the point? Only people who will benefit will be big businesses which will make a fortune.
No worries. Russia, Canada and Japan will take it over and we will pay them 6 to 7 billion a year to carry out our experiments that would have cost us 3 to 4 billion had we not given up our share of funding.
Are you people insane? You can’t stop funding the space station. How about cutting some of the massive military funding?
No just no. You do not find space exploration privately. The GOP and their crusade aganise science has to end.
Absolutely fund the ISS. So many advances in technology due to the ISS. I think the administration wants to cut funding because science scares the hell out of them
Privatizing the ISS is a terrible idea. Cutting corners in order to save a dollar is not a wise idea when there are a myriad of life threatening situations that could arise every second. This will save money and cost lives.
America needs to take the lead in space exploration, not cut funding for the ISS, and never leave this job to the private sector. Privatization is not the solution for everything, and it is especially not the solution to fund ISS. Donations in my opinion are welcome, but not a justification for a sole source of income.
Privatizing anything makes it less safe, and less beneficial to the public.
STOP TRYING TO PRIVATIZE THE WORLD WE LIVE IN. NOT EVERY FREAKING THING DONE TODAY SHOULD BE VIEWED THROUGH THE LENS OF PROFITS OR LOSSES OR GREED! The United States government is not a profit center nor should it be treated as one. NASA has inspired entrepreneurs, created entire industries and given this nation some of the best inventions of the 20th century (like velcro). It needs to be funded by the government to control the safety and well-being of American space pioneers. Anything less would be a dereliction of duty, one of many duties this administration has failed to adequately perform.
Keep funding for ISS in the US budget. While I support collaboration between government and private enterprises for space exploration, it is bad policy to privatize most government services. Trump's plan for a permanent moon base at the expense of ISS shows his lack of understanding of physics. Does he really think that it will be more economical to have to enter and exit the moon's gravity well? No, that requires a huge amount of energy that ISS does not. Weightlessness is necessary for most research on ISS whereas the moon has gravity; we'd still need ISS. We all benefit from research in 0g space. What ever happened to Trump's claims about an expedition to Mars? ISS is teaching us about the physiological effects of prolonged space travel on the human body; knowledge required for a manned Mars expedition. Let's not take a giant leap backwards. Let's revive an updated US shuttle program.
Can’t weaken the chain. As much as the prospect of extending our area of operations to the moon, it absolutely CANNOT come about through the weakening of the route it took to get us there. Give up some resources, Yes. But absolutely DO NOT give up our vested interests and assets in the ISS.
NO. Privatization of public programs needs to be stopped now.
Trump spends more than that flying back and forth to play golf. Does he realize how many jobs this will cost? I’d ask if he’s F#^€ing nuts but we ALL know the answer to that!
I knew this would happen. Trump has a speech a year ago talking about the space program, now this shit. Republicans are the party of hypocrisy
USA cannot afford to loose the race for space, It will destroy mankind.