NASA has issued an announcement seeking proposals from U.S.
industry to further advance commercial crew space transportation
concepts and mature the design and development of system elements,
such as launch vehicles and spacecraft. Awards will result in
funded Space Act Agreements.
Multiple awards are expected to be announced by March 2011 for
terms of up to 14 months. Approximately $200 million total is
expected to be available for awards under this announcement, but
funding is dependent on the 2011 fiscal year appropriations from
Congress. The deadline for submitting proposals is Dec. 13.
The agreements are expected to generate significant progress
toward maturing the design and development of commercial crew
systems elements that also ensure crew and passenger safety. The
overall objective is to accelerate the availability of U.S.
commercial crew transportation capabilities and reduce the gap in
U.S. human spaceflight capability. Through this activity, NASA also
may be able to spur economic growth as potential new space markets
are created. Once developed, crew transportation capabilities could
become available to commercial and government customers.