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This Week at NASA | This Week @ NASA: Opening the International Space Station for Commercial Business

Uploaded 06/10/2019

This Week @ NASA: Opening the International Space Station for Commercial Business

The International Space Station is open for commercial business … Another space station resupply mission successfully completed … And making a virtual landing on the Moon … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

NASA Opens International Space Station to Commercial Opportunities

The International Space Station is now open for commercial business. A new policy, announced during a June 7 news conference at Nasdaq in New York City, provides the opportunity for up to two short-duration private astronaut missions to the space station beginning as early as 2020, if the market supports it. The policy also, for the first time, includes prices for use of U.S. government resources to pursue commercial and marketing activities aboard the station. Our goal is to foster a robust ecosystem in low-Earth orbit from which we can purchase services as one of many customers. This will allow us to focus resources on our Artemis missions to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

SpaceX Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Returns from Space Station

Our commercial partner, SpaceX completed its 17th resupply mission to the International Space Station on June 3. The company’s Dragon cargo spacecraft – loaded with 4,200 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo – was released from the station’s robotic arm at 12:01 p.m. EDT, and splashed down a little more than five-and-a-half hours later in the Pacific Ocean.

U.S. Secretary of Education DeVos Visits Johnson Space Center

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited our Johnson Space Center, in Houston on June 5, to highlight a program through which education leaders and employers are narrowing the skills gap between workers and in-demand jobs. During the visit, DeVos met with NASA leadership, had the opportunity to speak with our astronauts aboard the space station, and met with NASA interns interested in careers in aeronautics, science and engineering.

Administrator Bridenstine Flies Lunar Lander Simulator

On May 31, our administrator Jim Bridenstine tried his hand at a virtual landing on the Moon in the ten-story Vertical Motion Simulator at our Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The cockpit design was configured like the Apollo Lunar Module, but can be customized to enable astronauts to train for future Moon landings with the most high-fidelity feeling they can get on this planet. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo also took part in the visit, to see how NASA in Silicon Valley is contributing to the effort to return to the Moon by 2024.

NASA Reaches New Milestone on Complex, Large Rocket

We’ve achieved a significant milestone in manufacturing the first large, complex core stage that will help power our Space Launch System, or SLS rocket on upcoming missions to the Moon. Along with lead contractor Boeing, we’ve assembled four-fifths of the massive core stage needed to launch SLS and the Orion spacecraft on their first mission to the Moon: Artemis 1. The Artemis program will send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024 and develop a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA …

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