Washignton: NASA has selected four US companies to collaborate with the US space agency to develop new space capabilities available to the government and other customers.
The partnerships build on the success of NASA's commercial spaceflight initiatives to leverage NASA experience and expertise into new capabilities, the space agency said in a statement.
The companies selected for the Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities and their projects are Maryland-based ATK Space Systems; New York-basedAFinal Frontier Design; California-based Space Exploration Technologies; and Colorado-based United Launch Alliance.
"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," said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC.
The Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities (CCSC) initiative is designed to advance private sector development of integrated space capabilities through access to NASA's spaceflight resources and ensure emerging products or services are commercially available to government and non-government customers within approximately the next five years.
These collaborations are one of several NASA partnership initiatives with the commercial space industry.
Others include the Lunar CATALYST initiative which selected three companies for commercial robotic lunar lander capabilities and the Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement, which selected 18 proposals for studies related to NASA's plan to collect and redirect an asteroid, then send astronauts to collect samples.
As NASA works with US industry to develop the next generation of US spaceflight services to low-Earth orbit, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration in deep space.