NASA’s Industry Partners Complete Low-Earth Orbit Commercialization Studies

Jeff Brody

NASA has released the results of studies conducted by 12 companies to identify potential commercial opportunities in the International Space Station and other low-Earth orbit destinations.

The space agency said Tuesday the companies investigated technical configurations and commercial concepts for LEO-based habitable platforms; the role of government and ISS evolution in the roadmap to LEO commercialization; and business plans that look at the viability of commercial destinations.

NASA selected 13 companies in August 2018 for the research project and the firms that completed the studies are:

  • Axiom Space
  • Blue Origin
  • Boeing
  • Deloitte
  • KBRwyle
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Maxar Technologies
  • McKinsey & Co.
  • NanoRacks
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Space Adventures

Lockheed’s LEO commercialization study suggests the use of alternative business models that support the transition from a government-owned platform to a commercial marketplace that maintains assured government access and national lab status for scientific initiatives, while Boeing aims to assess the viability of technical concepts and respective capabilities against market demand.

NASA will use insights from the studies to shape future policies to support manned spaceflight missions and other commercial activities in LEO.

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