NASA to Rely on All-Commercial ISS Resupply After 2011

NASA plans to rely upon commercial vehicles to supply the International Space Station after 2011 instead of purchasing additional Progress freighters from Russia, Aviation Week reported on Thursday.

“Administrator Michael Griffin has sent a letter to Capitol Hill specifically excluding Progress from a request to continue using Russian Soyuz capsules to deliver crew to the ISS after the shuttle retires in 2010,” AvWeek reports.

SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation are developing robotic supply spacecraft under NASA’s COTS program. These vehicles are set to fly sometime after 2010. Other ISS supply ships include the European Automated Transfer Vehicle, which flew its inaugural flight last month, and Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle, scheduled to fly next year.