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GSFC Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop

From our colleagues at the Goddard Space Flight Center:


Dear Colleagues,

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Innovative Partnership Program (IPP) and Earth Science Division will be hosting a Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop at the GSFC on September 7, 2011.

The purpose of the proposed workshop is to provide information for Earth and Space scientists about these vehicles capabilities, and to examine and discuss science topics that might be conducted from these platforms.

Suborbital reusable launch vehicles could enable researchers to directly access the mesosphere, lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere (50-140 km altitude), repeatedly, many times per day, at low-cost, and at very low velocities in many different environmental locations around the planet (no hypersonic shock).

The key opportunities enabled by the unique capabilities of the commercial suborbital vehicles is that they would provide frequent and low cost access to the mesosphere, lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere (50-140 km altitude). This region is very difficult to study and especially sample as it is too high for balloons and too low for satellite observations. There are numerous unresolved scientific issues related to the MLT that we simply cannot currently address because of inadequate observational sampling. Atmospheric observations ...Read More

NASA Selects Seven Firms To Provide Near-Space Flight Services

We appreciate the support and endorsements following our press release earlier this week where we announced we've entered into agreements with seven companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms. We look forward to working with all of these companies to develop and provide flight opportunities for the community.


WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected seven companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space.

As part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, each successful vendor will receive an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. These two-year contracts, worth a combined total of $10 million, will allow NASA to draw from a pool of commercial space companies to deliver payload integration and flight services. The flights will carry a variety of payloads to help meet the agency's research and technology needs.

"Through this catalog approach, NASA is moving toward the goal of making frequent, low-cost access to near-space available to a wide range of engineers, scientists and technologists," said NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The government's ability to open the suborbital research frontier to a broad community of innovators will enable maturation ...Read More

Suborbital Spaceflight panel from NewSpace2011

The video of the suborbital spaceflight panel at the NewSpace 2011 conference has been made available online. One of the 5 panelists is Dougal Maclise, Payload Manager of the Flight Opportunities Program.

Web Accessibility and Privacy Notices Curator: Alexander van Dijk Responsible NASA Official: Douglas Maclise Last Update: March 31, 2014