Thirteen companies, including Boeing and Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture, will be doing studies for NASA on the future of commercial human spaceflight in low Earth orbit.
All of the studies are due in December, and are supposed to cost no more than $1 million each. NASA still has to negotiate the contract amounts with the study groups, but it expects the total cost of the effort to come in at around $11 million.
The exercise is in line with NASA’s initiative to commercialize low-Earth-orbit operations by 2025. The options include handing over of the International Space Station to commercial management, or creating brand-new orbital outposts.