To replace the ISS, NASA relies on private companies. It will award $ 400 million to companies to help it design its new space station.
In orbit for over 22 years, the International Space Station is aging. Indeed, a large part of the central structures of the module were designed between 1990 and 2011 for the final pressurized structure. According to CNBC, in 2020, Russian cosmonauts worked to fix an air leak for several weeks. Each year, the maintenance of the ISS would cost $ 4 billion. The total cost of its commissioning in 1998 is estimated at 150 billion dollars, between its design and its construction. NASA Commercial Director Phil McAlister Tells CNBC “The ISS is an amazing system, but unfortunately it won’t last forever. He could encounter an irremediable anomaly at any time ”.
NASA is therefore preparing the next generation and is counting on private companies to help it with its project. Last week, it presented its Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) project and at the same time announced that it wanted to allocate an overall budget of $ 400 million to four private companies to help him in the development of this new space station. It must be said that collaborations between private companies and NASA allow the space agency to save some money. This was the case when Space X had sent cargo and astronauts to the ISS.
$ 140 million for Axiom
Once the International Space Station is officially retired, Axiom plans to detach its modules to transform them into a free-flying space station. NASA has allocated a budget of 140 million dollars to the company specializing in space flights Axiom Space, for the construction of modules to be added to the ISS in the coming years.