NASA's ISS Could Become More Corporate

Aug 8, 2017

International Space Station

NASA is gathering stakeholders in the International Space Station to look at the future of the orbiting complex, and potential changes could impact the city of Huntsville.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville controls science work that’s done aboard the football field-sized space station. That could soon mean working for or with private industry on the complex.

Tomorrow’s International Space Station stakeholders’ conference may build on a similar meeting last month. That earlier conference focused on research and development. It also hinted how the future of the space station could hinge on commercial development aboard the complex.

Boeing is currently designing a new space capsule to carry people to and from the station. Company spokesmen say passengers on that craft could be from countries without a manned space program, or even space tourists.

In the past, NASA has hinted at private research on the station that astronauts would conduct quietly to protect corporate secrets.