There has been a discourse about the International Space Station being not as efficient and effective as it used to be. Scientists say that it is getting old and there are unforeseen hazards that keep occurring because the ISS is getting less functional and more problematic by the day. Chances are that soon, it will be incinerated into nothingness by the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA does not have any plans to make another ISS.
NASA stated that it is spending a significant amount of money on the ISS, and it could save a lot if it left the station altogether. According to CNBC reports, it is making an offer up to $400 million for best proposals for companies that can sell a space station segment to NASA. The price is quite high and still, with this price, it saves around $1 billion per year if the deal goes through. This shows that NASA is shifting its priorities when it comes to private space technology.
Ever since the space agencies have been introduced, NASA has always stayed ahead and made a name for itself. However, now, it seems like NASA does not have an interest in investing in an entire space station for itself. It does not plan to even make a station for itself as NASA director of commercial spaceflight Phil McAlister told CNBC that “NASA will only be paying for the part that we need.”
“It was explicitly part of the original announcement for proposals that we expected cost-sharing,” McAlister added. “Going forward, we do not anticipate paying for the entire commercial destinations. We don’t think that’s appropriate, as the companies are going to own the intellectual property and they’re going to be able to sell that capability to non-NASA customers.”
The space agency plans for outsourcing space station development and operations, McAlister says, “NASA can shift its focus away from developing orbital tech and reprioritize exploration.”
“We can use those savings — that we project to be on the order of a billion to a billion-and-a-half dollars [annually] — for our deep space missions and aspirations,” McAlister told CNBC.