NASA backs Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and others with over $400 million funding to build commercial space stations
NASAhas granted a total of $415.6 million to three companies including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
- These companies will develop
commercial spacestations slated to launch by the later half of this decade.
- NASA’s plan is to create a robust
low-Earth orbiteconomy with opportunities for both government and private sectors.
AdvertisementNASA has big plans for commercial expansion in space as it has granted a total amount of $415.6 million to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, aerospace company Nanoracks, and defence contractor Northrop Grumman to design space stations and commercial destinations in space. NASA hopes to find a replacement for the International Space Station (ISS) that has only till the end of the decade to retire.
NASA plans for a “robust low-Earth orbit economy” includes coordination with private industry to formulate and design commercial destination capabilities that will work not only for potential government but private sector needs as well.
The first commercial
Nanoracks is collaborating with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin to develop a commercial low-Earth orbit destination called ‘Starlab’ that is slated to launch in 2027. It will be a continuously crewed, commercial space station which will be dedicated to “advanced research and commercial industrial activity and ensuring continued U.S. presence and leadership in low-Earth orbit.”
Starlab could be the replacement for the ISS as it is designed to house four astronauts, and it will have power, volume, and a payload capability to the ISS.
Northrop Grumman is also developing a modular, commercial destination for low-Earth orbit. It will provide a base module for extended capabilities such as science and industrial experimentation. It will feature multiple docking ports for future expansion to support crew analogue habitats, laboratories, crew airlocks, and facilities capable of artificial gravity.
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