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NASA investing $500m in commercial space.

Posted by: Andy Hill - Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:03 pm
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NASA investing $500m in commercial space. 
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Post NASA investing $500m in commercial space.   Posted on: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:03 pm
I know that I've mentioned this in another thread but we've had a website reorganisation and more details have come out so I thought I'd start a specific thread to discuss what NASA might want to do with the money and what projects they are likely to sponsor.

NASA is looking to spend $500m over the next 5 years to encourage the commercialism of space, it is particularly interested in off-loading its cargo and possibly crew rotation responsibilities to the ISS after the shuttle retires in 2010.

Griffen is also talking about private crew accomodation on the moon and orbital refuelling stations. All this seems well above the competitions posted in the centennial program, I wonder if we can expect some really exciting cometitions announced soon or will NASA run separate projects to fund individual things it wants to accomplish?

The attached articles give some details of what it wants but doesn't really say how it will accomplish it.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/space/3463963

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051116/ap_ ... xploration

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:45 am
More in this article by Administrator Mike.

From the article:
Quote:
This will all start to become "really real" in 10 years or so. As I see it, these are exactly the kinds of enterprises to which government is poorly suited, but which in the hands of the right entrepreneur can earn that person a cover on Fortune magazine. But it will take enlightened government management to bring it about, management as much in the form of what not to do, as to do. In the coming years and decades, NASA must focus on its core government role as a provider of infrastructure broadly applicable to the common good, and too expensive for any single business entity to develop. NASA must remain on the frontier, and must conscientiously architect its plans to favor the inclusion of entrepreneurs through arms-length transactions wherever possible, restricting the use of classic "prime contracts" to situations where they are the right tool, not the default tool.


I have to say, I think this is EXACTLY what needs to be done. By the time I got to the bottom of this article, I actually started to feel kind of inspired.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:05 am
Together with Mike Griffin's appointment, this may be the best NASA related news in many years, the most important part of which may be this -:
Quote:
It will not be government "business as usual". If those of you in industry find it to be otherwise, I expect to hear from you on the matter.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:28 pm
So we all compfident nasa will deliver what they tell us? wow that is news! haha

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:22 pm
I'm not sure I'd say confident, but we can always hope....

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:17 pm
I was just wondering, has NASA even considered purchasing parabolic flights from www.nogravity.com instead of operating their own aircraft?


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:23 pm
I thought I read last year that they had decommissioned their own vomit comet and had not scheduled a replacement... and considering that they are in talks to allow commercial zero-g flight operations from the strip at the Cape, I would guess that the use of said resources was already under consideration.

...all speculation, though, as I don't specifically recall that there was an anouncement of their intent.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:10 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
I thought I read last year that they had decommissioned their own vomit comet
Yes, they did, on October 31, 2004. http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/ground/ ... story.html
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
and had not scheduled a replacement
Ah, but they have a replacement. A C-9 (Military version of the DC-9) acquired August 9, 2003. http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/ground/c9_history.html

Since the aircraft is also used for other purposes and most likely would not be retired even if it wasn't used for the parabolic flights, I suppose it could be cheaper for NASA overall not to contract out the zero gravity training flights.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:12 pm
NASA has just put this announcement out for commercial orbital transport services;

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=18891

It looks like they will be willing to fund, at least in part, demonstrators to do various service tasks to the ISS. Seems like a smart move to find out which companies can actually make something and which only have nice powerpoint presentations or impressive CGI movies.

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