While giving an interview to the Washington Post, Bridenstine stated that he is holding talks with several global companies regarding commercially managing the American the space station.
He did not reveal which companies are engaged in the talks.
"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.
Before funding to the International Space Station runs out, Bridenstine said that he is working on a transition plan for a private company to take it over and run it as a commercial space laboratory.More news: Curiosity Rover Discovers Ancient 'Building Blocks for Life' on Mars
In the decades since the US landed astronauts on the moon, the landscape of space exploration has changed dramatically as other countries have expanded their capabilities and private companies have taken on larger roles.
The annual USA investment in the space lab ranges from $3 billion to $4 billion.
The 58% of US adults who say they wouldn't want to orbit the Earth aboard a spacecraft believe that such a trip would be either "too expensive" (28% of those asked) or "too scary" (28%), or that their age or health wouldn't allow it (28%).
The aerospace giant Boeing helped build the space station and has provided ongoing technical support.More news: Queen Maxima cancels public visits, Baltic tour after death of sister
Americans weigh in on the space program, lauding NASA's existence as essential. Some 29% of this group says they would go so that they can see the view of Earth from space, while 20% want to "learn more about the world". Only 18 percent and 13 percent say that sending astronauts to Mars and the moon deserve top priority, and 37 percent and 44 percent, respectively, think that it's not important or should not be done. Since then, astronauts have paid more than $70 million per seat for a ride to the ISS on Russia's Soyuz spaceships.
Called the Lunar Gateway, it "prepares the United States for larger lunar robotic missions leading to a return of humans to the surface of the Moon", NASA has said.
Gerst, who will be commanding the space station for the first time during his mission, referenced the steppe scenery in central Kazakhstan on Twitter Wednesday as he warmed up for the flight.More news: The latest on breast cancer treatments: A chemotherapy breakthrough