US President Donald Trump's controversial plan to privatize the International Space Station (ISS) from 2025 onwards met with fierce opposition from legislators, including the Republican majority.
The US government announced in February that it would divert the money it spends on the ISS to other space exploration projects, such as the return to the moon and the sending of humans to Mars.
But the plan has become too simple and short-sighted by experts and, most importantly, by legislators controlling US purses.
"We can not have everything – federal funding is not unlimited," said Lamar Smith, Republican chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, during a Thursday hearing
of all the savings resulting from refinancing the orbiting outposts "not much," Smith added.
"That will not bring us back to the moon, that will not get us elsewhere," he said.
NASA spends between three and four billion dollars a year on the ISS, including freight costs and the payment of Russia for the transport of astronauts aboard the Soyuz.
The US has not been able to launch spacecraft since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.
If the station were privatized, Americans would continue to pay for exploration missions and research According to researcher Bhavya Lal from the Institute for Defense Analysis, the savings do not exceed one billion a year.
That's far less than the amount needed to fund a human exploration mission to Mars.
"It is unlikely that a commercial space station would be economically viable until 2025," she said.
NASA Inspector General Paul Martin has also noted that it is unlikely that the private industry would take over the total operating costs of the ISS in 2024
The ultra-conservative Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas – the state where NASA astronauts train at the Johnson Space Center in Houston – swore that he would stay as long as he could. Englisch: bio-pro.de/en/region/stern/magazine/…1/index.html .html […] is funded.
"And as long as Article I of the Constitution remains intact, Congress will be the last arbiter of how long the ISS will receive federal funds," he said at a hearing on Wednesday.
Cruz and his colleagues plan to extend the lifespan of the space laboratory to 2028 beyond its current expiration date of 2024.
The rescue of the space station is a cause that unites Republicans and Democrats.  "We have this platform north of $ 100 billion (and it's worth it) and it's there," said Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a member of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness.
"The Incredible Abandonment A circled laboratory, in which they conduct research when we are on the threshold of a new era of space exploration, would be at best responsible and probably catastrophic."
For a long time, the ISS was considered a global symbol The cooperation between the United States, Russia and more than a dozen other countries has been in operation since 1998.
It remains to be seen how the United States would pay for both the space station and the missions to the Moon and Mars, without the budget of NASA today being substantially increased to around $ 18.4 billion a year.
Trump wants NASA from space station by 2025, company in