The White House will announce plans to stop funding the International Space Station after 2024 when it unveils its proposed budget Monday, Fox News has confirmed.
A senior NASA official told Fox News that the agency is working on a transition plan that would allow the station, known as the ISS, to be operated by a commercial concern.
The administration’s plan for the ISS was first reported by The Washington Post.
The Post reported that the White House will request $150 million from Congress for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 in order to “to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS —potentially including elements of the ISS — are operational when they are needed.”
The plan does not elaborate on which companies might be interested in the station or what the station might be used for.
All or part of the ISS has been in low Earth orbit since 1998 and the station has been continuously inhabited since 2000. There are six astronauts currently aboard the ISS — two Russians, three Americans and one from Japan.
The ISS, which functions as a kind of floating laboratory, is operated by Boeing on behalf of NASA at a cost of between $3 billion and $4 billion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.