Donald Trump wants to stop funding the International Space Station from 2025. Should space be privatized?
A week ago, a car was launched into space for the first time in history, a feat as absurd as it is brilliant. It is a convertible Tesla that drives a mannequin disguised as an astronaut. In the images online, you can see the car circling itself around the Earth in the background while a message appears on the dashboard screen: “Do not get nervous”.
Most likely, the vehicle and its occupant will spend millions of years plowing through the Solar System without colliding with any planet. The vehicle was put into orbit as part of the inaugural launch of Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket in the world. Contrary to what has happened since the exploration of space began, the person responsible for the feat is not a country, but a company, Space X, led by Elon Musk, also the owner of Tesla. With this achievement, the man who made himself rich by helping to create the PayPal Internet payment system is positioned as a leader in the spatial expansion of companies in the heat of multimillion dollar contracts with governments and space agencies, a cake that promises to be made every time larger.
NASA’s budgets for 2019 have been submitted this week. US President Donald Trump wants to stop funding the International Space Station (ISS) starting in 2025. The budget proposal includes a new 150 million batch of dollars to stimulate private projects in low Earth orbit, where the ISS is located, in which the US has spent some 100 billion dollars of public money. The idea now is for private companies to keep the orbital laboratory active, while NASA devotes its efforts to other projects, such as returning astronauts to the moon, a plan supported by Trump in his obsession to correct all the decisions made by his predecessor, Obama, who canceled the project. The proposal must still be approved by Congress. The EU, Japan, Canada and Russia, the other member countries of the ISS, should also have something to say, since there are plans to keep these facilities in operation until 2028.
NASA has been years behind in the creation of the most powerful rocket in the world, which would exceed that of Musk and also the Saturn V that propelled the lunar missions. The plan of the USA is to take astronauts to Mars on the back of this rocket in the mid-2030s, something that would be impossible with Falcon Heavy. For his part, Musk has assured, without providing many details, that he can send humans to the red planet in 2024, a madness for many experts.