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posted by martyb on Monday August 22 2016, @10:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the Privatized-International-Space-Station-==-PISS? dept.

NASA may sell/lease parts of the International Space Station in the next decade:

NASA has signalled its intention to offload the International Space Station (ISS) some time in the 2020s. News of the sale appeared in the video below, at about the 14:15 mark [YouTube] when Bill Hill, NASA's deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, ponders the ISS' role in future missions.

"Ultimately our desire is to hand the space station to either a commercial entity or some other commercial capability so that research can continue in low-Earth orbit. We figure that will be around the mid-20s."

Hill and the other speakers in the video explain how NASA is preparing for a crewed Mars mission and outline how the agency is now well and truly in the market for ideas about how to get it done.

Also at SpaceFlight Insider and TechCrunch.

Related:
Russia to Build New Space Station with NASA after ISS
Russia Investigates Downsizing Space Station Crew From Three to Two


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22 2016, @11:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22 2016, @11:14AM (#391561)

    I don't remember that there was ever a financial report regarding how much income ISS earns next to how much it costs to keep. I am not sure there was a stampede in Billionaires' club when this announcement hit the press.

    Besides, do we need ISS? One way to monetize it would be do dismantle it, cut it to pieces and sell the pieces as souvenirs back at the bottom of gravity well ...
    (Now, having written that, I just had a revelation of how we could finance cleaning the Earth's orbit from satellite debris space junk)

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday August 22 2016, @12:36PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday August 22 2016, @12:36PM (#391591)

    After the first thousand pieces of space junk sell to people who care, the rest would flood the market to a point that it costs more to retrieve from orbit than it is worth to the collectors.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday August 22 2016, @04:01PM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday August 22 2016, @04:01PM (#391699) Journal

    The biggest cost of the space station, the initial construction, is paid for.

    Boosting the altitude of the ISS could be a one time cost if it was boosted significantly above LEO, or ion engines could be used to reduce the cost of stabilizing the orbit.

    As to what kind of commercial activity would happen on the ISS, who knows? It doesn't seem suitable as a refueling station, that's more the job of asteroids or the Moon. Tourism is an obvious but disappointing answer. ISS already has an inflatable Bigelow Expandable Activity Module that was ordered by NASA, but it will be jettisoned after two years of testing is over.

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