NASA’s private parts

NASA’s private parts

NASA’s private parts

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Dec. 11 2005 12:13 PM

NASA’s private parts

NASA just released an announcement of opportunity for private space companies to propose building low-Earth orbit vehicles! In their own words, they want to

... solicit proposals from industry for Earth to orbit space flight demonstrations of any combination of the following mission capabilities:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Period 1

a) External unpressurized cargo delivery and disposal,

b) Internal pressurized cargo delivery and disposal,

c) Internal pressurized cargo delivery, return and recovery.

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Option Period 2

d) Crew Transportation.

And then (literally) the money quote:

Period 1 demonstration(s) will culminate with a rendezvous and docking or berthing with the International Space Station and either disposal or reentry and recovery, depending on the selected mission.

Wow. The long version is here, in case you have a spare few million bucks to start up and some rocket parts in your basement (and I'll add, quite a few companies really do...)