Status Report

NASA Updates Pricing Policy to Full Value for Commercial Activities on Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
March 5, 2021
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NASA is laying the foundation for America to maintain a human presence in low-Earth orbit in which one day NASA will become one of many customers in a robust commercial marketplace. To realize that goal, NASA has opened the International Space Station (ISS) for business to enable commercial and marketing opportunities on the microgravity laboratory. Since making these opportunities available, there has been a growing demand for commercial and marketing activities from both traditional aerospace companies and from novel industries, demonstrating the benefits of the space station to help catalyze and expand space exploration markets and the low-Earth orbit economy. As a result, NASA has updated its pricing policy for commercial activities conducted on the station to reflect full reimbursement for the value of NASA resources.

In June 2019, NASA first released its commercial marketing pricing policy to establish subsidized pricing to stimulate and enable the use of resources on the space station. NASA anticipated revisiting the pricing policy periodically and adjusting prices as market forces dictated in response to interest, market growth, and competition (reference NID 8600.121). The pricing policy from June 2019 did not reflect full reimbursement for the value of NASA resources; it was intended to stimulate the market and was planned to be adjusted. Based on discussions with stakeholders, the current market growth, and in anticipation of future commercial entities capable of providing similar services, the agency has updated the Commercial Use Activities pricing policy effective immediately. The new pricing applies to proposals submitted under NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NNJ13ZBG001N Focus Area 3 Purchase of Resources for Commercial Purposes. NASA is in the process of reassessing the value and amount of available resources for private astronaut missions and plans to update that pricing policy in the near future.

For more than 20 years, NASA has supported a continuous U.S. human presence in low-Earth orbit. The agency is working to continue the development and growth of the low-Earth orbit economy. Low-Earth orbit provides a relatively cost-effective environment for crew training, fundamental and applied research, advanced systems development, Earth observation, space technology maturation and testing, as well as advancing testing of human health countermeasures in preparation for deep space missions, and, the newest focus area, commercial and marketing activities.

For questions on the pricing policy, visit the FAQs or contact

SpaceRef staff editor.