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A Stimulating Development?: NASA Assigns $50 Million in Stimulus Funds for Commercial Orbital Passenger Service August 10, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in economy, Obama, Paragon, private sector, Space Shuttle, SpaceX.
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In an interesting economic development, NASA said today that $50 million in economic stimulus funds will be going towards developing commercial passenger service to orbit (to replace the retired Space Shuttle and to avoid pricey seats on the Russian Soyuz).

Private company SpaceX won one of two cargo contracts for the ISS back in January, and the Dragon craft they are using is designed to be modifiable to a human-passenger mode. NASA is holding a workshop this Thursday for SpaceX and other interested firms (quoted by the Reuters article as Ball Aerospace, Airborne Systems, Boeing, Tether Applications, Retro Aerospace, Emergent Space Technologies, Davidson Technologies, and Paragon Space Development Corp., many of whom appear specialized for certain systems).

Obama’s campaign space plan had hinted at this in the past—the idea of private U.S. space industry as stimulus. Frontiers do have a way of pushing economies along, so this could to be a road to developments much like the railroad projects of old. Considering the potential, Obama’s campaign plan, and certain past Obama decisions, there could be a lot more of this to come, and soon…

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1. Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #9 « Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration - February 6, 2010

[…] of NASA’s new CCDev (Commercial Crew Development) contracts—$20 million out of the $50 million in stimulus funds, for the development of its Dream Chaser spaceplane! (I’ll have more on those contracts this […]


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