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Houston Matters

Privatizing The International Space Station — What Would That Mean For Houston And The Johnson Space Center?

Space insiders say resolving the future of the ISS will play a large role in the future of Houston’s Johnson Space Center.


The Trump administration's budget proposal calls for privatizing the International Space Station by 2025.

Houston played a significant role in bringing the space station to life and keeping it in orbit. Its program offices are located at the Johnson Space Center, and the astronauts who live on board were trained there. It's daily operations are monitored and directed from Mission Control.

If privatization happens, what would that mean for aerospace here in Greater Houston? Do we have the commercial interests here to offset the impact this might have on what NASA does in Clear Lake? What could this mean for the aerospace sector of Houston's economy, for workers at NASA, and for Houston’s identity as "Space City?"

To discuss the pros and cons of ISS privatization – and how such a move might affect Houston – Houston Matters host Craig Cohen talks with Eric Berger, senior space editor at Ars Technica, and journalist Eric Niiler, who wrote an article for Wired called Who's Going to Buy the International Space Station?