NASA has begun to solicit proposals for a program that aims to develop and commercialize novel space platforms for use in human and scientific exploration missions through public-private partnerships.
“The Tipping Point solicitation represents a continued focus on collaborations with the commercial space sector that leverage emerging markets and capabilities to meet NASA’s strategic goals,” Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA's space technology mission directorate, said in a statement released Wednesday.
NASA seeks proposals in two topic areas – Small Launch Vehicle Technology Development and Small Spacecraft Capability Demonstration Mission ““ and plans to award approximately $15 million in firm-fixed-price contracts to up to seven industry contractors.
The first topic seeks to advance the development of commercial space platforms designed to launch small spacecraft to low-Earth orbit, while the second topic aims to build and subject small spacecraft to a flight demonstration.
The contracts will include milestone payments and will require industry partners to contribute at least 25 percent of the total development cost.
NASA will accept industry proposals through Oct. 6.
The agency issued the solicitation nine months after it formed public-private partnerships with 19 companies for 22 research projects under the tipping point and emerging space system solicitation programs.