Virgin Galactic Signs Space Act Agreement With NASA
Virgin Galactic signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Johnson Space Center to encourage commercial participation in orbital human spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) while enabling the development of a robust economy in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO).
Under the agreement, Virgin Galactic will develop a new private orbital astronaut readiness program. This program will include identifying candidates interested in purchasing private astronaut missions to the ISS, the procurement of transportation to the ISS, on-orbit resources, and ground resources. Supporting and coordinating the use of ISS resources will be an important point of integration required for each private astronaut mission.
Virgin Galactic will also contribute end-to-end program management and integrated astronaut training packages for private passengers.The partnership also serves as a pathfinder for the ISS National Laboratory by demonstrating additional involvement by the commercial sector in human spaceflight, and may lead to commercial participants conducting research and other commercial activities aboard the ISS.
George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic said “We are excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program, which will not only allow us to use our spaceflight platform, but also offer our space training infrastructure to NASA and other agencies. Based on the unsurpassed levels of spaceflight customer commitments we have secured to date, we are proud to share that insight in helping to grow another market for the new space economy. We want to bring the planetary perspective to many thousands of people.”