NASA Considers Handing Over Control Of The ISS To A Private Company; Mars Mission Future Uncertain With The Upcoming 2016 ElectionsBy Ron S., UniversityHerald Reporter
NASA is considering handing over the control of the International Space Station, along with several facilities handled by the agency, to a private company some time in the near future.
Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for exploration development at NASA, had stated that the decision was made entirely to ensure the future endeavours of the agency's vision, according to Science World Report.
The International Space Station has been under NASA's control, which means that the ISS is open to the public, as well as belongs to the people as the agency is funded by taxpayers' money.
The ISS will soon be hovering above Earth for 20 years, since its launch in November 20, 1998. Ever since, it has been orbiting the planet every 90 minutes within a low Earth orbit.
The relatively old space laboratory is far from being obsolete. Recently, NASA had successfully installed a new International Docking Adapter onto the orbiting laboratory, which would be essential for future spacecrafts to dock itself onto the ISS, Blastr reported.
The installation allows for newly designed spacecrafts to attach themselves onto the ISS.
NASA's announcement over its plans to turn over the control of the ISS may be a bold move, but keeping its mission and vision in mind, it would likely assure the longevity of its future endeavours.
Hill reckons that the move would likely be within the mid2020s, or as soon as the U.S. government decided to cut its ties with NASA missions. The 2016 elections would play a vital role in NASA's future.
Whoever is elected to be the President of the United States would have to face a decision whether to continue NASA's plans and funding, or cut it significantly that the agency would have no choice but to hand over the power to a private entity to ensure that the ISS would continue to push mankind's progress in science.