Los Angeles, Sept 21: NASA, which recently retired its shuttle fleet, has unveiled it plans to hire private “space taxis” to help astronauts commute to the International Space Station (ISS) and low-earth orbit.
The program will fund several private companies that provide the space agency with a complete end-to-end design, including spacecraft, launch vehicles, launch services, ground and mission operations and recovery.
An “integrated design contract” as large as $1.61 billion, which will run from July 2012 to April 2014, has been offered in NASA’s draft request for proposal (RFP).
“This is a significant step forward in America’s amazing story of space exploration,” LA times quoted NASA Administrator Charles Bolden as saying in a news release.
“It’s further evidence that we are committed to implementing our plan … to outsource our space transportation so NASA can focus its energy and resources on deep space exploration,” he added. (ANI)