Categories: Commercial Space

NASA to Invest $75 Million for Suborbital Science Flights

[/caption]

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced today the space agency will fund dozens of science and education payloads to fly on commercial suborbital vehicles. If the 2011 budget proposed by President Obama passes, NASA will commit $75 million in funding over five years for the new Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research program (CRuSR). “For everyone who has dreamed of participating in the grand adventure of spaceflight, this $75 million commitment marks the dawn of a new space age,” said Alan Stern chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) and former NASA associate administrator for science. “As the commercial space industry continues to grow, I expect that we will see increasing numbers of payloads and people flying to space.”

Garver made the announcement at the first annual Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Boulder, Colorado. Money for payloads means money available for companies like Armadillo Aerospace, Blue Origin, Masten Space Systems, Virgin Galactic, and XCOR Aerospace.

“We are thrilled to see NASA recognizing the enormous potential of new commercial vehicles for science, research, and education,” said Mark Sirangelo, Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “NASA Deputy Administrator Garver’s announcement today means that hundreds of scientists, educators, and students will be able to fly payloads on these new commercial vehicles.”

NASA is proposing to spend $15 million in each of five years from 2011-2015 for the CRuSR program, funds that will both go to universities and other research institutions to build science and education payloads, as well as being used to purchase flights on commercial suborbital vehicles.

“Since this new generation of commercial vehicles are low cost, NASA’s $75 million will open the floodgates for everyone from astronomers to high school classrooms to conduct real science in space,” said STern. “This will be one of the best investments NASA has ever made.”

Source: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

Recent Posts

Will We Ever Go Back to Explore the Ice Giants? Yes, If We Keep the Missions Simple and Affordable

It's been over 35 years since a spacecraft visited Uranus and Neptune. That was Voyager…

17 hours ago

A new Hubble Image Reveals a Shredded Star in a Nearby Galaxy

The Hubble Space Telescope, to which we owe our current estimates for the age of…

17 hours ago

Evidence of a Megatsunami on Mars

Things were pretty wet back on Mars about three and a half billion years ago.…

18 hours ago

Not Just Stars. Gaia Mapped a Diverse and Shifting Universe of Variable Objects

We've reported on Gaia's incredible data-collection abilities in the past. Recently, it released DR3, its…

21 hours ago

Mars at Opposition 2022: The Full Moon Occults Mars Wednesday Night

A rare event transpires Wednesday night, as the Full Moon occults Mars near opposition.

23 hours ago

Construction Begins on the Square Kilometer Array

At twin ground-breaking ceremonies today in South Africa and Australia, project leaders formally marked the…

1 day ago