NASA is looking for potential sources of suborbital flight services to support the agency“™s efforts to promote commercial involvement in its research and exploration missions.
NASA said a notice posted Monday on the beta SAM website that it seeks to establish review and approval procedures for hardware to be used in hazardous activities that NASA personnel will undergo during flights on commercial vehicles.
The agency also wants to develop in-flight training approaches to prepare astronauts during ascent, reentry or microgravity scenarios.
Commercial missions will be used to facilitate in-flight engineering and microgravity research involving various science experiments, according to the notice.
Previously, NASA partnered with Virgin Galactic to establish an astronaut training program for private customers seeking to avail of commercial flights to the International Space Station.
“Public-private partnerships are a key to opening space for good, and we“™re inspired for the future of human space exploration,“ said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides in a statement obtained by The Verge.
NASA said it might select one or more U.S. companies for contracts to provide commercial flight services.
Interested parties may submit responses to the notice through Aug. 7.