NASA is challenging U.S. industry to establish capabilities and services that can open new space markets and support the crew and cargo transportation needs of the International Space Station.
Final Announcement (word)
For the first time, NASA is seeking non-government vehicles and commercial services to provide crew and cargo transportation for human space flight. The final announcement for Phase 1 of the Commercial Crew/Cargo Project invites proposals for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Demonstrations. The companies or teams selected will develop and demonstrate the vehicles, systems, and operations needed to support a human space facility like the International Space Station. Once a capability is demonstrated, NASA plans to purchase these services competitively.
"This signifies a new era in space transportation with a greater role for commercial space providers," said Scott Horowitz, NASA associate administrator for Exploration Systems. "We look forward to being able to purchase services for routine access to space, as NASA explores the moon, Mars, and beyond."
Proposals are sought for Earth-to-orbit space flight demonstrations of any one or combination of four capabilities: external (unpressurized) cargo delivery and disposal, internal (pressurized) cargo delivery and disposal, internal cargo delivery and return, and crew transportation.
A draft announcement for Phase 1 of the Commercial Crew/Cargo Project was released in December. Commercial Crew/Cargo Phase 1 proposals are due March 3, 2006, and agreements are expected to be awarded this summer.