NASA to Collaborate with Seven US Companies to Advance Space Capabilities

NASA to Collaborate with Seven US Companies to Advance Space Capabilities

NASA will partner with seven U.S. companies to meet future commercial and government needs, ultimately benefitting human spaceflight and the U.S. commercial low Earth orbit economy. Through unfunded Space Act Agreements, the second Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities-2 initiative (CCSC-2) is designed to advance commercial space-related efforts through NASA contributions of technical expertise, assessments, lessons learned, technologies, and data. 

Structured sharing of NASA expertise demands minimal government resources but fosters the development of capabilities that can be crucial to the development of a robust low-Earth orbit economy.

The companies selected for the Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities-2 are:

“It is great to see companies invest their own capital toward innovative commercial space capabilities, and we’ve seen how these types of partnerships benefit both the private sector and NASA,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “The companies can leverage NASA’s vast knowledge and experience, and the agency can be a customer for the capabilities included in the agreements in the future. Ultimately, these agreements will foster more competition for services and more providers for innovative space capabilities.” 

NASA selected these proposals based on an evaluation of their relevance to achieving the agency’s goals and its ability to provide the requested resources, as well as the feasibility of the company’s business and technical approach. Each party bears the cost of its participation through the agreements.

Projects

  • Blue Origin is collaborating with NASA to develop an integrated commercial space transportation capability that ensures safe, affordable, and high-frequency US access to orbit for crew and other missions.
  • Northrop Grumman is collaborating with NASA on the company’s Persistent Platform to provide autonomous and robotic capabilities for commercial science research and manufacturing capabilities in low Earth orbit.
  • Sierra Space is collaborating with NASA for the development of the company’s commercial low Earth orbit ecosystem, including next-generation space transportation, in-space infrastructure, and expandable and tailorable space facilities providing a human presence in low Earth orbit.
  • SpaceX is collaborating with NASA on an integrated low Earth orbit architecture to provide a growing portfolio of technology with near-term Dragon evolution and concurrent Starship development. This architecture includes Starship as a transportation and in-space low-Earth orbit destination element supported by Super Heavy, Dragon, and Starlink, and constituent capabilities including crew and cargo transportation, communications, and operational and ground support.
  • Special Aerospace Services is collaborating with NASA on an in-space servicing technology, propulsion, and robotic technology called the Autonomous Maneuvering Unit (AMU) and the Astronaut Assist-AMU for commercial in-space servicing and mobility applications intended for safer assembly of commercial low Earth orbit destinations, servicing, retrieval, and inspection of in-space systems.
  • ThinkOrbital is collaborating with NASA on the development of ThinkPlatforms and CONTESA (Construction Technologies for Space Applications). ThinkPlatforms are self-assembling, single-launch, large-scale orbital platforms that facilitate a wide array of applications in low Earth orbit, including in-space research, manufacturing, and astronaut missions. CONTESA features welding, cutting, inspection, and additive manufacturing technologies, and aids in large-scale in-space fabrication.
  • Vast is collaborating with NASA on technologies and operations required for its microgravity and artificial gravity stations. This includes the Haven-1 commercial destination, which will provide a microgravity environment for crew, research, and in-space manufacturing, and the first crewed mission, called Vast-1, to the platform. Development activities for larger space station modules will also take place under the Space Act Agreement.

NASA’s support for a robust low-Earth orbit economy is intended to boost education and job growth in science and engineering and to spur economic growth through the creation of new space markets. The first Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities selections in 2014 supported the development of four collaborations associated with commercial rockets, spacecraft, and spacesuits.

For decades, NASA has supported a continuous U.S. human presence in low Earth orbit with astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station. In 2019, NASA adopted a strategy to help achieve the agency's goal of a low Earth orbit marketplace where NASA is one of many customers and the private sector leads the way. This strategy will enable NASA to continue using low Earth orbit to foster scientific discovery and technology development that both improves life on Earth and advances human exploration into deep space.

Click here to learn about NASA's Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities (CCSC).

Click here for more information about NASA initiatives and commercial space.


Publisher: SatNow
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Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
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BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019

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GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
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Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
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Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014

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IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
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