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NASA Seeks Proposals for Next 2 Private Astronaut Missions to Space Station

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NASA Seeks Proposals for Next 2 Private Astronaut Missions to Space Station

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Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021

NASA is seeking proposals for two new private astronaut missions to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s efforts to open space to more people than ever before. With these opportunities, U.S. commercial companies will continue to play an essential role in establishing a sustained presence in low-Earth orbit (LEO) through the agency’s Commercial LEO Development Program.

The first targeted flight opportunity will occur between fall of 2022 and mid-2023 and the second will occur between mid-2023 and the end of 2023. Proposals are due Friday, July 9, 2021 at 5 p.m. EDT. NASA will host a pre-proposer’s conference to field industry questions related to this announcement on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. To confirm attendance, please email Karen Dailey at karen.j.dailey@nasa.gov.

A private astronaut mission includes U.S. industrial spacecraft transporting personal astronauts to the house station, the place they conduct actions aboard the orbiting laboratory or a industrial construction hooked up to it. NASA is enabling up to two short-duration personal astronaut missions per 12 months.

“This 12 months is actually a renaissance for human spaceflight each as we fly NASA and worldwide companion astronauts on U.S. industrial crew spacecraft to the Worldwide Space Station and in addition as we see the enlargement of personal astronaut missions,” mentioned Phil McAlister, director of business spaceflight growth at NASA Headquarters. “As extra individuals fly to house and do extra issues throughout their spaceflights, it attracts much more individuals to do extra actions in low-Earth orbit, and displays the rising market we envisioned once we started the Industrial Crew Program 10 years in the past.”

The brand new focused flight alternatives would be the second and third personal astronaut missions to the Worldwide Space Station. NASA signed an settlement with Axiom Space for the first private astronaut mission, to happen no sooner than January 2022.

Every of the brand new missions could also be up to 14 days. Particular dates are depending on spacecraft visitors to the house station and in-orbit exercise planning and constraints. Private astronaut missions should be brokered by a U.S. entity and use U.S. transportation spacecraft that meet NASA’s Worldwide Space Station visiting car necessities, insurance policies, and procedures. Refer to Focus Space 4A of NASA Analysis Announcement (NRA) NNJ13ZBG001N for extra particulars.

Enabling personal astronaut missions to the Worldwide Space Station is a part of the company’s aim to develop a sturdy low-Earth orbit financial system the place NASA is one in all many shoppers, and the personal sector leads the best way. This technique will present providers the government needs at a decrease value, enabling the company to give attention to its Artemis missions to the Moon and on to Mars whereas persevering with to use low-Earth orbit as a coaching and proving floor for these deep house missions.

For questions concerning the solicitation, contact HQ-LEO-Economy@mail.nasa.gov.

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