The idea is to ensure a seamless transition from government-funded ISS operations to an outpost using new components, or even elements of the current space station, that would be operated as a base for private sector innovation, worldwide cooperation and NASA experiments and research needed for eventual flights back to the moon and on to Mars.
The Soyuz 2-1a booster carrying the Progress MS-08/69P cargo craft took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EST (GMT-5; 2:13 p.m. local time), streaking away through a cold, overcast sky and climbing directly into the plane of the space station's orbit.
Private businesses already have a hand in the space station project. Russian Federation in particular has expressed an interest in developing its own space station after the ISS, potentially using some of the modules the country's space agency, Roscosmos, plans to add to its segment of the station in the next few years.
Commercial space advocates welcomed the Trump administration's goal, but even they worry the private sector may not be ready as soon as 2025 to replace NASA as primary underwriter for station operations.
And the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which represents companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, said defunding the station before 2028 "would not allow sufficient time" for a private sector transition.
"It's a hard issue", Wörner said, however a partly privatized space station would "not be the end of the world".
WFIRST's cancellation is "due to its significant cost and [the presence of] higher priorities within NASA", according to the budget overview. It provides no funding for the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite; the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) experiment; the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Pathfinder; the Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI); or Earth-viewing instruments aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/NASA spacecraft that launched in 2015.
Hope to see an independent Palestine State soon: PM Narendra Modi
On his visit to Israel in July, the premier gave Netanyahu his signature bear hug, and the two strolled barefoot along a beach. India and Israel have drawn closer in recent years, however, partly because of common concerns about Islamic terrorism.
The space station is scheduled to operate through 2024.
But pulling NASA funding would likely still have an effect on the space station's future.
A view of the International Space Station's power-generating solar arrays taken by an astronaut in January 2017. Drug companies like Merck and Eli Lilly have used the space station to research medications.
If all goes according to plan, the agency will launch a "power and propulsion space tug", a component of NASA's planned outpost in near-moon space, in 2022.
In a statement, the center pledged to keep working to educate the public on "the critical role this research platform plays in the development of a robust and sustainable economy in low Earth orbit".
President Barack Obama continued the transition to hire Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts to the station. The proposed budget would continue support for those endeavors, NASA acting administrator Robert Lightfoot said Monday.