President Trump's proposed budget wants NASA out of the ISS

The rocket will arrive at the International Space Station at 12:24pm

The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry.

The white house proposal released on Monday says, "The budget proposes to end direct USA financial support for the International Space Station in 2025, after which NASA would rely on commercial partners for its low Earth orbit research and technology demonstration requirements".

The station is a joint project of several space-faring nations, and NASA has contracted with private companies, like Boeing and SpaceX, to reach it in recent years.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, a former astronaut, said the proposed plan to stop funding the International Space Station "makes no sense".

The U.S. has contributed roughly $100 billion to the ISS since its creation in the 1990s.

The White House considered asking for $19.6 billion overall for NASA, 2.6% more than in the current fiscal year.

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The space station now is authorized through 2024 and while many at NASA believe the outpost's lifetime could be extended at least another four years to 2028, no such decisions have been made by the United States and its worldwide partners - Russia, the European Space Agency, Canada and Japan.

"The ISS is built for science and human exploration, it's not built for profit seeking", said Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, a company that uses 3-D printing to manufacture objects on the space station.

Elon Musk's SpaceX company and Orbital ATK have been delivering to the station since 2012.

He said the move would put the US on course to "do something exciting" in space for the first time in years, adding that his company is "ready" to partner with NASA on its moon efforts.

Less clear is how such a plan would be coordinated with the station's global partners.

"The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time - it is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform", the paper said, citing an internal memo from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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A Russian Progress cargo ship carrying three tons of supplies and equipment blasted off from Kazakhstan early Tuesday and set off after the International Space Station.

SpaceX and Boeing, meanwhile, are developing crew capsules to fly astronauts to and from the space station within the next year.

While the Trump budget plan says it places renewed support on returning humans to the moon, followed by human expeditions to Mars and elsewhere, few details are provided.

The ISS, which orbits some 400 kilometres above Earth, is now supported in a joint project by the U.S., Russian, Japanese and European space agencies.

NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, called the plan "very exciting" with lots of potential, despite what he said were some hard decisions that went into it.

The WFIRST telescope's cost estimates have ballooned to $3.6 billion and Hunter said it just got too expensive.

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