NASA to expand commercial space programme

26 Sep 2014

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US space agency NASA is inviting proposals for the next round of contracts that will allow private-sector companies to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

The agency plans to award contracts under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 RFP to at least one company for six or more missions. These flights would launch from US spaceports with the contracted services to include crucial logistical and research cargo delivery.

Proposals must be submitted by 14 November and NASA anticipates making a selection by May of next year.

“The International Space Station is vital to the United States’ exploration efforts, a laboratory in orbit where we can work off the Earth, for the Earth,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations and NASA Headquarters in a statement. “To push beyond low-Earth orbit and on to Mars, we rely on American industry to keep the station supplied through cargo deliveries.”

The first Commercial Resupply Services missions began flying in 2012. The International Space Station is due to remain operational until at least 2024.

Space image via Shutterstock

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com