Status Report

NASA Commercial LEO Destinations Announcement 80JSC021CLD FINAL (July 12, 2021)

By SpaceRef Editor
July 12, 2021
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Full announcement

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has established the Commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Development Program at the Johnson Space Center as part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The objectives of the Program are to:

• Develop a robust commercial space economy in LEO, including supporting the development of commercially owned and operated LEO destinations from which various customers, including private entities, public institutions, NASA, and foreign governments, can purchase services; and

• Stimulate the growth of commercial activities in LEO.

To achieve the Commercial LEO Development Program’s overall goals, NASA developed and is implementing a five-point plan. Entitled NASA’s Plan for Commercial LEO Development, it addresses how NASA participates with industry to develop commercial LEO destinations, stimulates demand for new and emerging markets in LEO, and takes near-term steps to achieve a robust economy in LEO. The third point in this plan is to initiate the process for commercial development of LEO destinations.

In order to cost-effectively meet U.S. long-term research and technology development needs in low-Earth orbit (LEO), a robust commercial human spaceflight economy must be established including commercial destinations and new markets to allow various customers access to a broad portfolio of commercial products and services. Development and operation of a commercial destination to provide those services will require significant private investment over many years and significant non-NASA demand to ensure long-term financial viability.

This announcement solicits proposals for Phase 1 of the two-phased Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) project. As a result of this competition, NASA anticipates entering into multiple agreements with private industry to support development of the vehicles, systems, and operations needed to deploy and operate free-flying LEO destinations to meet the potential future needs of various customers including the US Government.

SpaceRef staff editor.