Space : New crew blasts off for ISS

Watch: Astronauts launching to International Space Station

"We're in a position now where there are people out there that can do commercial management of the International Space Station", said Bridenstine.

Bridenstine, who was sworn in this past April, says there are many large corporations that are interested the commercial potential of the ISS.

"As a fiscal conservative, you know one of the dumbest things you can to is cancel programs after billions in investment when there is still serious usable life ahead", Cruz said earlier this year.

"Any assumption that ending direct federal funding frees up $3 to $4 billion beginning in wishful thinking", Martin told congress.

While human missions to Mars or the moon maintain a high-profile at NASA, and they're also part of the Trump Administration's long term goals for space exploration, public support for such missions is low.

The space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres per hour (17,000 miles per hour) since 1998.

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The aerospace giant Boeing helped build the space station and has provided ongoing technical support.

In the White House 2019 budget request, "funding would be prioritized toward supporting an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and worldwide partners".

When it comes to the private space industry, 44 percent of Americans has high confidence that companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic will make a profit in their space-related ventures.

"It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the worldwide agreements that the United States is involved in", said Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association. Only 18 percent of respondents said NASA should send humans to Mars and even fewer think astronauts should return to the moon. Since then, astronauts have paid more than $70 million per seat for a ride to the ISS on Russia's Soyuz spaceships.

In February this year, Elon Musk successfully launched his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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