Thursday, April 26, 2018

Study looks at commercialization of low Earth orbit

In May, NASA will be releasing a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) for low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, according to contract documents released Tuesday.

The purpose of this NRA is to inform NASA's strategy for enabling the commercialization of human spaceflight in LEO and meeting NASA's long-term LEO needs. The NRA will solicit industry concepts, business plans and viability for habitable platforms, whether using the International Space Station (ISS) or free-flying, that would enable a commercial marketplace in LEO where NASA is one of many customers. Additionally, the study seeks industry input on the role of government and evolution of ISS in the roadmap to commercialization of LEO.

NASA anticipates awarding multiple four-month, fixed priced contracts, up to $1 million per award. Participation is open to U.S. organizations, including industry, educational institutions, and nonprofit institutions, the agency said in documents.

A Pre-Proposal Conference to discuss the study objectives and proposal instructions with prospective respondents is planned for May 1 in the Gilruth Center at Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

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