Prospects for Commercial Space Brighter Than Ever

Artists conception of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft in orbit
Artists conception of SpaceX

NASA Opportunities Abound for Commercial Space Efforts

Despite bleak budget forecasts and the uncertainty surrounding NASA’s human exploration program, opportunities for commercial space firms are better than they have been in decades, according to government and industry officials.

Not only do NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Deputy Administrator Lori Garver seem to be very supportive of commercial space ventures, but the challenging budgetary environment means space agency officials are searching for innovative ways to meet their goals, said Jim Muncy, president of Alexandria, Va.-based consultancy PoliSpace and co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation.

The foundation spotlighted the potential for partnerships between NASA and commercial spaceflight projects during the NewSpace 2009 conference in Mountain View, Calif., last month.

During her July 8 confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Garver said her recent experience working as a consultant in the commercial sector of the aerospace industry “taught me that the incredible talent and dedication of the work force not only resides at NASA, but also in private industry.”

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