NASA has named four commercial aerospace firms selected by it to develop its new space capabilities. The Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities (CCSC) initiative of the premier space agency aims to advance the private sector development of integrated space capabilities by giving them selected access to resources and technologies developed by the NASA.
The four companies that have been selected by the NASA are:
- ATK Space Systems from Beltsville, Maryland. This company will work on enhancing space logistics, hosted payload and other space transportation capabilities.
- Final Frontier Design from Brooklyn, New York. This company will develop space suits that are involved in intra-vehicular activity during space travel.
- SpaceX from Hawthorne, California. This company is developing space transportation capabilities that could be used to support missions into deep space.
- United Launch Alliance, Centennial, Colorado. This company is working on new launch vehicles, the primary objective of which is reduce costs and enhance performance.
“Companies in all shapes and sizes are investing their own capital toward innovative commercial space capabilities,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These awards demonstrate the diversity and maturity of the commercial space industry. We look forward to working with these partners to advance space capabilities and make them available to NASA and other customers in the coming years.”
In these Space Act Agreements (SAAs), there is no exchange of funds, with each party being expected to bear the cost of its participation. NASA will contribute technical expertise, assessments, lessons learned, technologies and data in a structured manner requiring minimal use of government resources.
Such collaborations are among the various NASA private initiatives with the commercial space industry, the most notable among others being the Lunar CATALYST initiative and the Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement.