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[i]At the hearing, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the space subcommittee, and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member of the full Senate Commerce Committee, reiterated their opposition to the proposal included in NASA's fiscal year 2019 budget request to end funding of the ISS in 2025 and transition to commercial facilities in low Earth orbit...
One of the hearing's two witnesses, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, shared his concerns about the agency's ISS transition plans. He said his office is working on an audit of ISS operations and transition planning to be released in the next few weeks but provided a few observations from that work that undercut NASA's plans.
Martin said he was skeptical that there was a business case for commercialization of the station. "We question whether a sufficient business case exists under which private companies can create a self-sustaining and profit-making business using the ISS independent of significant government funding," he said. "The scant commercial interest shown in the station over its nearly 20 years of operation gives us pause about the agency's current plans."[/i]
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