As NASA prepares for the decades to come, which will undoubtedly involve more deep space missions and fewer International Space Station trips, the agency is making some important decisions that will decide the fate of the International Space Station so it doesn’t go to waste.
Image Credit: NASA
Soon, NASA won’t be restricting International Space Station module access to just major space agencies. Even private companies involved in space technology development will be able to dock their modules on the giant space lab that orbits our Earth for the sake of space experimentation ‘off-the-Earth, for-the-Earth.”
The news comes from NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a White House blog post, which outlines the importance of furthering our footprint in space and opening opportunities for using space to private companies.
As the blog post indicates, NASA’s recent question to private space companies about how they would use the International Space Station’s docking modules reportedly received a truckload positive feedback. Perhaps even so positive, that it persuaded NASA to go ahead with the idea.
“The private sector responded enthusiastically, and those responses indicated a strong desire by U.S. companies to attach a commercial module to the ISS that could meet the needs of NASA as well as those of private entrepreneurs,” Bolden said in the blog post.
In the mid-2020’s, when the International Space Station mission is retired and NASA focuses its efforts on deep space missions like those to Mars, perhaps private companies can find a use for the space lab that NASA will no longer really need.
Opening up access to the International Space Station to private space companies as soon as this Fall will help make that transition to the International Space Station’s successors easier, and may even prove useful for businesses that wish to use space as a tool.
Source: White House Blog