The ISS will be privatized, but NASA wants to take its time

The ISS is nearing its end and NASA is already starting to think about commercial options for the future of the space station.

While the future of the ISS is at the heart of international discussions, now NASA seems ready to hand over to the various private companies that want to take control of it. Very expensive the international space station, which had emerged more than 20 years ago. This project, born from the fusion of American ideas and the Russian station Mir was the biggest diplomatic step forward in the history of the conquest of space.

But all good things come to an end, and the station today seems far too expensive for the various space agencies to spend insane amounts of money on its maintenance. Russia had already announced some time ago that it would gradually withdraw from the project; in order to join that of China. In the absence of talks from Moscow within the ISS, Roscosmos, the country’s space agency had warned that there would be “multiple incidents” in the months and years to come.

Little by little, private companies are setting up

Faced with an almost insurmountable challenge, and a project that is already channeling a large part of its budget (Artemis), NASA has finally decided to give in to pressure from private companies who see the ISS as the perfect tool for making tourist trips. in the space. A still unprecedented proposal, which has only been tried very little during the history of the resort. In the past, the current head of NASA, then senator, Bill Nelson had the right to a visit of a few days within the station.

Later, in 2007, it was Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian-American billionaire who had paid a tidy sum of $ 25 million to join the station and live there for a week. An out of the ordinary experience, but which ultimately will not follow. More recently, it was the Russians who stood out by sending an actress Yulia Peressild and a director Klim Chipenko to the station to shoot a film. This little cinematic excursion should soon be followed by another, this time led by Tom Cruise and Doug Liman behind the camera.

Change of owner in 2030?

Finally, according to the latest announcements made by the “Office of Audits”, NASA officials in charge of making decisions regarding the end of life of the ISS, the latter should be entitled to a little respite. . Indeed, if it had been initially announced that the station could pass the hand to private entities as early as 2024, it should not be done before the beginning of the next decade.

Enough to give Thomas Pesquet more time to eventually return to the international space station, although the native of Rouen seems to have other projects, he who does not hide his fascination with the Gateway project which plans to build a space station it also in orbit, but this time around the Moon.

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