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Thursday, April 17, 2008

NASA Bets on Commercial Launch Firms to Resupply Station Post 2011

The National Aeronsautics and Space Administration is not asking the US Congress to reauthorize the purchase of the Russian Progress resupply spacecraft after 2011. Instead, the space agency is betting on commercial launch firms SpaceX or Orbital Sciences Corporation to fill the demand along with bartered trades with Europe and Japan for use of their respective cargo space freighters.

According to a Request for Proposal [RFP] issued last week, NASA will seek to purchase transportation to the ISS for at least 20 metric tons of cargo between 2010 and 2015, when NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle is scheduled to begin flying astronauts and cargo.

Europe has lofted its forst new Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to the station this year and Japan's planned H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is slated to fly next year.

1 comment:

John Benac said...

This comes 2 days after NASA has signed a new type of contract with Hamilton Sunstrand to buy water, not the water machine, on the space station. It is a fantastic way to put the risk on the private sector and maximize performance and profit.