NASA Reviews Private Space Station Proposals

NASA has turned to private companies to build new space stations as it is planning to cease operations in the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of this decade. 

NASA launched the Commercial LEO Destinations project in March of this year which is looking to give away up to $400 million’s worth of contracts for up to four companies to start developing private space stations. 

Its commercial spaceflight director Phil McAlister told CNBC that NASA has obtained “roughly about a dozen proposals” from various companies regarding the project. The agency received overwhelming support from the industry since announcing the initiative. 

McAlister also added that it takes $4 billion per year to operate the ISS, which is why buying facilities on larger stations managed by private companies will save NASA more than $1 billion yearly.

More than 50 corporations expressed their interest when the project was announced. McAlister said that NASA is now on the verge of evaluating the proposals from spaceflight companies and start-ups, and is hoping to announce the contract winners by the end of 2021.

McAlister said, “We are making tangible progress on developing commercial space destinations where people can work, play, and live.”

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