NASA awards $415 mn to fund three commercial space stations
NASA on Thursday awarded three companies hundreds of millions of dollars to develop commercial space stations it hopes will eventually replace the International Space Station, which is due to retire around the end of the decade.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, aerospace company Nanoracks, and defense contractor Northrop Grumman won $130 million, $160 million and $125.6 million contracts respectively to develop their orbital outposts.
A fourth company, Axiom Space, was previously awarded a $140 million contract.
The US space agency is increasingly turning to private industry to develop hardware it once made itself, in order to reduce costs and to focus on its ambitious goals, which include building habitats on the Moon and preparing
for a crewed mission to Mars.
“We are partnering with US companies to develop the space destinations where people can visit, live, and work, enabling NASA to continue forging a path in space for the benefit of humanity while fostering commercial activity in space,” said NASA chief Bill Nelson in a statement.