HOUSTON (NASA PR) — In an ongoing effort to foster commercial activity in space, NASA has selected 13 companies to study the future of commercial human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit, including long-range opportunities for the International Space Station.
The studies will assess the potential growth of a low-Earth orbit economy and how to best stimulate private demand for commercial human spaceflight. The portfolio of selected studies will include specific industry concepts detailing business plans and viability for habitable platforms, whether using the space station or separate free-flying structures. The studies also will provide NASA with recommendations on the role of government and evolution of the space station in the process of transitioning U.S. human spaceflight activities in low-Earth orbit to non-governmental enterprises.
Paragon Space Development Corporation will develop a flexible radiator for inflatable habitats and an improved condenser for use on human space missions with the help of NASA funding.
The space agency has selected the Tuscon, Ariz.-based company for two contracts under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 program. The agreements are worth up to $125,000 apiece over 13 months.
The target market for Paragon’s Flexible Radiator (FlexRAD) is “long duration human spaceflight exploration missions and other spacecraft” that use a single loop active thermal control system (ATCS).
WASHINGTON, DC (NSS PR) — On March 30th, 2018, NASA delivered to Congress the “International Space Station Transition Report” taking the first step toward a gapless transition from the government owned and operated International Space Station (ISS) to commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space stations. This report was issued in response to a request from Congress in the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017. NSS and its partners in the Alliance for Space Development worked hard over the last few years to ensure that this request was included in the Act, and NSS applauds the resulting report.
HOUSTON, Jan. 18, 2017 9 (Axiom Space PR) — Made In Space and Axiom Space today, announce an agreement to be users and providers of one another’s capabilities to manufacture products in space. Made In Space is the only company to produce 3D printed products in Space and Axiom Space is the leading developer of the world’s first privately-owned commercial space station. This collaboration signifies Made In Space’s exciting transition from research phase, to manufacturing for commercial customers.
It’s going to be busy year in space in 2017. Here’s a look at what we can expect over the next 12 months.
A New Direction for NASA?
NASA’s focus under the Obama Administration has been to try to commercialize Earth orbit while creating a foundation that would allow the space agency to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030’s.
Whether Mars will remain a priority under the incoming Trump Administration remains to be seen. There is a possibility Trump will refocus the space agency on lunar missions instead.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), who is currently viewed as a leading candidate for NASA administrator, has written two blog posts focused on the importance of exploring the moon and developing its resources. Of course, whether Bridenstine will get NASA’s top job is unclear at this time.
HOUSTON (Axiom PR) — Axiom Space announced today that Amir Blachman has been appointed the new Vice President of Strategic Development. In this role, Blachman will lead the financial planning, funding, and growth strategy for the world’s first private, international commercial space station.
With the International Space Station scheduled to be decommissioned in 2024, and no replacement on the horizon until now, Axiom Space is building the first international, privately-owned station that will host sovereign astronauts, private companies, and individual explorers.
NASA has released a request for information (RFI) seeking ideas from industry about how to maximize commercial use of the International Space Station (ISS) that could lead to privately-built space modules being attached to the orbiting laboratory.