Privatize the International Spacial Station? Not so fast, says the Congress to Trump



The so talked project of the American president, Donald Trump, of privatizing the International Space Station (ISS) starting in 2025 conflicts with s lot of members of the Congress, including some of the republican majority.

The government of the USA announced in February that wants to cut the public finances to the station to redirect the amounts to another projects of spacial exploration, mainly the return to the Moon, eventually, the arrival to Mars.

But this project is considered ordinary by the specialists, and, more important yet, by the parliamentarians that control these funds.

“Not everything can be done, the federal money isn’t unlimited”, said Lamar Smith, republican president of the House of Representatives Science Committee, in an audience on Wednesday.

But the bills doesn’t close. The economy that would be eventually geared by the removal of the USA from the internacional station wouldn’t be “big stuff”. “This won’t allow us to come back to the moon or anywhere else”, affirmed.

Nasa spends today between 3 and 4 billion dollars per year in the ISS, including costs of transporting astronauts and equipments.

If the station got privatized the Americans would continue to pay for the missions of exploration and research, and the economy wouldn’t be more than a billion per year, said the researcher Bhavya Lal, from the Institute of Analysis of Defense, what wouldn’t get even close of the necessary to finance a mission to Mars.

According to the specialist, “the probability is low that a private spacial station be economically viable to 2025”.

Nasa’s general inspector, Paul Martin, officially concluded that is unlikely that the private companies take control os the costs of the station in 2024, foreseen in 1,3 billion per year.

The cause of the Spacial Station unites republicans and democrats.

The ultraconservative senador Ted Cruz – representing Texas, where is located the HQ of the mythic spacial center Johnson of Nasa, in Houston – promised on Wednesday that while he lives the subcommittee of space, the ISS will continue receiving financing.

He and his colleagues want to prolongue the life of the station until 2028, instead of the today’s limit date of 2024, that by its turn has substituted the date of 2020. The ISS works since 1998.

Rests to know how to finance at the same time the station and the missions of exploration to the Moon and to Mars. Unless there is a huge increase on Nasa’s budgets, today around 20billions per year, the question is still wide open.