The president is not exactly known for making decisions that portray him as the stable genius that he claims he is.
This is the guy, remember, who wants us to believe that putting up a wall in between us and our closest ally to the south is a good idea.
Now, the president is back with another one of his ridiculous ideas.
According to The Washington Post, he wants to privatize the International Space Station and essentially turn it into an orbiting real estate venture available for corporate use.
The Post obtained documentation of this in connection to the Trump administration’s budget request for NASA for fiscal year 2019, which is apparently to be released on Monday.
An internal NASA document reportedly states:
‘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. NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit.’
Among those who have already expressed opposition to the proposed plan to take Trump’s effort to cut costs no matter the outcome to the extreme are interests ranging from GOP U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to industry interests associated with the current state of space exploration.
Boeing’s space station program manager Mark Mulqueen commented, for instance, that “walking away from the International Space Station now would be a mistake, threatening American leadership and hurting the commercial market as well as the scientific community.”
It’s not, of course, as though the president has proven himself concerned with such a thing, having already threatened the security of the global order through, among other things, his relentless antagonizing of the heavily armed North Korean regime.
If you’re not convinced that it’s a bad idea to turn the ISS over to private industry, look around at the environment suffering at the hands of corporations and try and say that the idea to have the government retreat from outer space and hand a significant portion of its present capabilities to business is a good idea. The few prominent businesses working to do something good for the world do not negate the suspicious feeling that’s fitting here.
The reported plan to turn over the ISS to private industry is not unique among the Trump administration’s policy proposals, although it’s a fairly new addition to the reporting about the plans to end funding for the ISS. It’s not as though this is the first time that they’ve moved to prioritize corporate interests above essentially all others; that was a foundation to the president’s reasoning for moving to pull us out of the Paris Climate Accord last year.
Trump has claimed, to be sure, to be advancing the United States position in space, through such means as the resuscitation of the National Space Council.
Even still, it’s not only in the context of space exploration that the president has opted to push industry interests to the forefront and leave others behind. That’s a general trend when it comes to Trump and councils, and it’s indicative of the wider, dismal tone of his administration.
Featured Image via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images