As heard previously, the White House had come up with decisions for privatizing the International Space Station (ISS). Earlier in the current year, the White House had stated that it would stop providing direct funds to the space station by the year 2025 and would hand over the space station to private companies. However, as heard lately, the new administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, has said during an interview that the space agency has been talking to many international companies for handing over the operations of the ISS to them so that the ISS would formulate just like a commercial space laboratory.
Bridenstine said in a statement, “We’re in a position now where there are people out there that can do commercial management of the International Space Station.” He further added, “I’ve talked to many large corporations that are interested in getting involved in that through a consortium if you will.”
The NASA Administrator, however, did not name the international private companies, which showed interest in taking over the orbiting space station and managing it. Bridenstine said that there are still 7 long years for deciding over the space station’s future.
The Vice President for space systems, Frank Slazer at the Aerospace Industries Association, said that the space station’s international nation would make it difficult for the private sector to manage it and that managing the ISS would always require the involvement of the United States government. Slazer said in a statement, “It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the international agreements that the United States is involved in.” He added, “It’s inherently always going to be an international construct that requires U.S. government involvement and multinational cooperation.”
Jim Bridenstine formerly worked as a congressman in Oklahoma. He was confirmed to be the next administrator of the space agency NASA by a thin margin of 50-to-49 vote in the month of April 2018 after near about fifteen months of vacancy of the post. The Democrats were against Bridenstine becoming the NASA Administrator and reportedly rallied against the decision of nominating him for the post. They claimed that he did not possess within himself the scientific and managerial qualities needed for the post.