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Trump plans to privatise International Space Station: report

In this April 17, 2015, file image from NASA-TV, the SpaceX Dragon 6 resupply capsule nears the International Space Station. Source: NASA-TV

The Trump administration reportedly wants to hand the International Space Station over to the private industry as NASA is set to expand its commercial partnerships.

The Trump administration wants the International Space Station (ISS) to be run by the private industry, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The report says a NASA document indicates the White House plans to withdraw funding for the ISS after 2024 and turn the station over to the private sector.

"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 document states.

"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."

The US has reportedly spent nearly $US100 billion ($A140 billion) to build and operate the ISS.

Reports of plans to privatise the ISS has been met with some opposition.

Last week, Senator Ted Cruz slammed the reports, claiming he hoped they would "prove as unfounded as Bigfoot" after the amount of money spent to operate the station.

Boeing has helped manage the ISS for more than 20 years and space station manager Mark Mulqueen warned against privatisation.

"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," he told The Washington Post.

The report comes amid increasing private involvement in space exploration and transport, led by companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX - which recently launched the Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful working rocket.

- with AAP

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