• NASA is accepting proposals for various space activities
  • The activities are focused on establishing a low-Earth orbit economy
  • NASA partnered with companies to commercialize space and the ISS

NASA is beginning to move forward in developing a sustainable economy in low-Earth orbit through partnerships with various private companies. Through the partnerships, the agency is looking to carry out various activities in space that are focused on commercializing low-Earth orbit.

NASA is currently accepting proposals from various U.S. companies regarding possible marketing and commercial activities that can be carried out in space. For now, the activities will be conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

One of the proposed activities involves taking photos of the products while they’re in space or aboard the station for marketing purposes. These items can also be sold back on Earth as commemorative pieces after spending time in space. These types of activities will be handled by NASA crew members who are currently participating in space missions.

NASA is also working with space-tech firms SpaceX, Axiom Space and Virgin Galactic in providing commercial spaceflights to the ISS. Most of these flights will involve sending private astronaut missions to the ISS and other destinations in space.

“Axiom Space and SpaceX made a separate agreement for a future private astronaut mission to the station,” NASA explained. “And SpaceX also announced an agreement for another private astronaut mission not to the space station, an example of NASA enabling a broader market in space.”

“Axiom’s partnership with SpaceX for a private astronaut mission and Virgin Galactic’s plans to develop a new private orbital astronaut readiness program directly support NASA’s broad strategy to facilitate the commercialization of low-Earth orbit by U.S. entities,” the agency added.

In addition to commercial spaceflights, NASA is also working with Axiom Space in the development of a commercial habitable module that will be attached to the ISS. This new feature aims to demonstrate the potential of the station in terms of its commercial uses.

As noted by NASA, establishing a thriving economy in low-Earth orbit opens various opportunities for different companies in terms of research and development.

“A robust commercial space economy ensures national interests for research and development in low-Earth orbit are fulfilled while allowing NASA to focus government resources on deep space exploration through the Artemis program and land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024,” NASA explained.

SpaceX already carried out its own successful uncrewed mission to the International Space Station in March
SpaceX already carried out its own successful uncrewed mission to the International Space Station in March NASA/Roscosmos / HO