NASA Solicits Proposals for Suborbital Flight Technology
[Satellite TODAY 12-23-10] NASA is seeking proposals for testing new technologies during suborbital flights and requesting information from commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers and commercial payload integrators about carrying technology payloads, the agency announced Dec. 22.
The solicitation is part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program designed to foster development of a commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry. NASA will select payloads from the solicitation proposals to fly on aircraft that provide parabolic flight trajectories and on suborbital reusable launch vehicles capable of flying to altitudes above 62 miles. The flights will expose the payloads to reduced gravity and near-zero gravity environments.
“During these flights, researchers will be able to test their technologies in a range of microgravity environments and share their data with NASA — data NASA can use when planning future missions," NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun said in a statement.
The solicitation for suborbital flights is open until Dec. 31, 2014. Applications for the first round of flights are due by Jan. 31, 2011. Responses to the request for information about services of commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers are due Jan. 20.