It was the proposal of halting the direct funding of the International Space Station by the government. Then, the lawmakers did not hesitate to question the move that the Trump’s government made. They had their reasons, but that is a matter of another day. Is that possible to paralyze the operations of the space agency? If that becomes a reality, what is the future of NASA? How will they get past that? It is what our piece is all about. For projections, you should keep reading.
During the hearings before the panels of Senate and House, two NASA officials came before them. First, there was the manager of NASA who is in charge of the human spaceflight activities. The other one was the inspector general of the same space agency. In addition to that, there were opinions of other experts. The topic of discussion was the fate of the ISS if the White House plan succeeds.
The proposal begged one question. Can a private company manage all that including the research facilities and the astronauts in them? As the people tried answering that, it became a debate. Points of concern are in the discussion that follows.
The demand for an orbiting laboratory for a successful commercial venture was of concern. If it was an essential facility, it was unclear as to whether it would operate without receiving any support from the government. There are other questions yet unanswered. They include the necessity of the research of Mars and Moon, whether China will benefit from the step and the feelings of other ISS’s partners regarding the matter. What the cost of flights come in the 2020s is also unknown.
According to Paul Martin, he has an answer for one of the questions. The inspector general of NASA said that there a low chance of a commercial operator to entirely manage to operate the ISS come 2025. That does not come as a surprise because the budget as of 2024 will be about $1.2 billion.
Two senators oppose that move. They are Ted Cruz as well as Bill Nelson. Supposedly, it is not the first time such a thing is happening. In the past, such an incident cost the state billions of dollars and its citizens a lot of jobs. If that lesson will hold waters or not, remain a mystery as of now.
As we wait to see what unfolds, there are things hard to ignore. For the last thirty years, NASA has invested hugely into the venture. Through design, construction, and operation, the agency has spent $100. Annually, its budget is between 3 and 4 billion dollars. There is so much at stake for a cost that little. The fate will unveil soon.