The Trump administration in February also proposed a $150 million program to build commercial platforms in orbit, hoping to incentivize private companies develop alternative space stations.
To date, only a few companies are working to build private space stations. Two, Bigelow Aerospace in addition to also NanoRacks, have hardware on the ISS, while a third, Axiom Space, will be set to launch its first module in 2020. Each of these companies will be building a habitable craft to continue humanity’s presence in low Earth orbit.
“We are focused on providing commercial platforms which augment the ISS,” Manber said Tuesday. He said which NanoRacks envisions a future which will need the human in addition to also cargo transportation capabilities of SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation in addition to also Boeing “for launches to service dedicated platforms” in addition to also habitats in space. The three companies have won funding through NASA to develop systems capable of sending astronauts to the ISS, with SpaceX in addition to also Boeing scheduled to begin flight tests which year.
When CNBC spoke to Bigelow Aerospace, NanoRacks in addition to also Axiom Space in February, none expressed interest in taking over the ISS. Each saw the ISS as a stepping stone to establishing commercial operations in low Earth orbit rather than the foundation on which to build.
“A wholesale taking over of the ISS will be a very expensive endeavor,” Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini told CNBC at the time.
Read the full report from the Washington Post here.