Saturday, 20 April 2013

NASA, Bigelow sign space act agreement for public/private space exploration

NASA, Bigelow sign space act agreement for public/private space exploration, As forecast in a number of media reports, Space News reported on April 19, 2013 that NASA and Bigelow Aerospace have signed a Space Act Agreement that will develop a number of studies of how private/public partnerships could enable exploration beyond low Earth orbit. No money will change hands at this time.

In return for the reports that Bigelow will produce by the end of the year, NASA agrees to:

“Engage in outward-facing communications intended to highlight the importance of the work being conducted under (the) agreement and to encourage broad participation.

“Actively participate in meetings and discussions when requested by Bigelow Aerospace.

“Provide in-kind support to supplement Bigelow Aerospace’s financial and logistics contributions under (the) agreement.”

One report will identify a number of commercial enterprises that would be able to contribute to such a government backed commercial undertaking. The second report would define a number of mission scenarios. One such scenario would consist of a commercial lunar base that would be leased by NASA and shared by commercial enterprises.

In regards to a return to the moon, NASA is already building two parts of such an architecture, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Space Launch System heavy lift rocket. Besides a lunar base some kind of lander would be necessary to access the lunar surface. Such a vehicle could be developed under a similar arrangement that commercial spacecraft being used to resupply and take crews to the International Space Station under the commercial crew program. Such a vehicle or likely more than one would be leased by NASA as well as commercial entities accessing the lunar surface.

No comments:

Post a Comment