Most Expensive Object Ever Built ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿš€

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How much?
The International Space Station (ISS) at $160 billion.

Whatโ€™s the deal?
The Trump administration announced plans to pull all federal funding from the ISS by 2025 in an effort to privatize its operations.

Whoโ€™s running this thing? 
The ISS was launched into orbit 20 years ago and is the largest human structure to be put into space. It is collectively โ€œownedโ€ by 14 governments including the US, Canada, Russia, Japan and a bloc of European states. NASA forks over $3 billion annually to help maintain the ISS, which serves as a research lab for astronauts from around the world. 

The right points out that handing over control of the ISS to commercial interests will not kill it. They note the government is already in discussions about exploring partnerships and ensuring ISSโ€™ transition to become a private entity is seamless.

The left believes privatizing the ISS would be a failure on almost all levels. They point out that the US has dumped ~$100 billion into the station, and to cut if off now would be wasteful. Also, they claim this decision would remove the US as a global leader in space exploration - a void that would be quickly filled by Russia and China.

Why cut ISS funding? 
One rumor for why the Trump team wants to cut funding is that they would like to use extra resources to get astronauts back to the moon. Also, keep in mind this plan is just a consideration - it will face an uphill battle in Congress. Even if Congress is on board, the government still needs to persuade private industry to jump into something really expensive. 


Let's at least keep funding space dogs


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