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Final Frontier Design founders Ted Southern (right) and Nikolay Mosieev in one of their commercial spacesuit designs. (NASA)

NASA selects commercial space partners for collaborative partnerships

NASA has formed unfunded partnerships with four U.S. companies to develop new space capabilities available to the government and other customers. The Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities (CCSC) initiative is designed to advance private-sector development of integrated space capabilities through access to NASA's spaceflight resources and ensure emerging products or services are commercially available to government and non-government customers within approximately the next five years.

The companies selected for the Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities and their projects are:

ATK Space Systems, in Beltsville, MD, is developing space logistics, hosted payload, and other space transportation capabilities

Final Frontier Design, in Brooklyn, NY, is developing intra-vehicular activity space suits

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), in Hawthorne, CA, is developing space transportation capabilities that could be used to support missions into deep space

United Launch Alliance, in Centennial, CO, is developing new launch-vehicle capabilities to reduce cost and enhance performance.

The Space Act Agreements (SAAs) have no exchange of funds, and each party bears the cost of its participation. NASA's contributions could include technical expertise, assessments, lessons learned, technologies, and data. Sharing this existing expertise in a structured way requires minimal government resources while fostering the development of technologies to enable NASA to achieve its strategic goal to expand human exploration of the solar system and to advance exploration, science, innovation, benefits to humanity, and international collaboration.

These collaborations are one of several NASA partnership initiatives with the commercial space industry. Others include the Lunar CATALYST initiative, which selected three companies for commercial robotic lunar lander capabilities, and the Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement, which selected 18 proposals for studies related to NASA's plan to collect and redirect an asteroid, then send astronauts to collect samples.

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