NASA wants to develop a space station that will replace the current ISS
NASA has selected three teams to develop proposals for the construction of a new space station that could replace the current International Space Station (ISS).
The participating companies signed the agreements on December 2, 2021, it is shown in a NASA press release. They will receive $ 415,6 million for the development of the proposals and will be given the chance to participate in the second phase of the program, in which NASA will purchase its services.
$ 415.6 million for proposals
The first team, consisting of Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, will receive $ 160 million. Their proposal, a space station called Starlab, is expected to be launched in 2027. Initially very small, Starlab will consist of a single inflatable module with an internal volume slightly less than half that of the ISS. According to NASA, the station will be built with the potential to add both internal and external extensions.
The second team will receive $ 130 million. It consists of Blue Origin, Sierra Space and several other companies. Even Boeing could be part of this team. Their proposal is to launch the Orbital Reef station. It will be built of inflatable modules and rigid modules. Numerous facilities for both research and tourist accommodation will be included.
The third team will receive $ 125.6 million. It consists of Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation of Dulles, Virginia and other undisclosed companies. Their proposal is more conservative, consisting of modules similar to those on the ISS.
According to NASA, the first phase of the program will continue until 2025. The teams will design the space stations, coordinate the projects with NASA and ensure that the "space station gap" is avoided when the ISS retreats.
As the life expectancy of the International Space Station draws to a close, and the contract between its countries expires in 2024, there has been no shortage of companies offering astronauts a suitable alternative.