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International Space Station (ISS) => ISS Section => Topic started by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 03:48 pm

Title: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 03:48 pm
Quote
June 7, 2019
RELEASE 19-044

NASA Opens International Space Station to New Commercial Opportunities, Private Astronauts

NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business so U.S. industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.

This move comes as NASA focuses full speed ahead on its goal of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, where American companies also will play an essential role in establishing a sustainable presence.

NASA officials, including the agency’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit, will discuss details of the five-part near-term plan in a news conference at 10 a.m. EDT today. The news conference will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA will continue research and testing in low-Earth orbit to inform its lunar exploration plans, while also working with the private sector to test technologies, train astronauts and strengthen the burgeoning space economy. Providing expanded opportunities at the International Space Station to manufacture, market and promote commercial products and services will help catalyze and expand space exploration markets for many businesses.

The agency’s ultimate goal in low-Earth orbit is to partner with industry to achieve a strong ecosystem in which NASA is one of many customers purchasing services and capabilities at lower cost.

NASA’s plan addresses both the supply-side and demand-side for a new economy, enabling use of government resources for commercial activities, creating the opportunity for private astronaut missions to the space station, enabling commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit, identifying and pursuing activities that foster new and emerging markets, and quantifying NASA’s long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.

Commercial Activities Aboard the Space Station

More than 50 companies already are conducting commercial research and development on the space station via the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, and their results are yielding great promise. In addition, NASA has worked with 11 different companies to install 14 commercial facilities on the station that support research and development projects for NASA and the ISS National Lab.

This effort is intended to broaden the scope of commercial activity on the space station beyond the ISS National Lab mandate, which is limited to research and development. A new NASA directive will enable commercial manufacturing and production and allow both NASA and private astronauts to conduct new commercial activities aboard the orbiting laboratory. The directive also sets prices for industry use of U.S. government resources on the space station for commercial and marketing activities.

Pricing released Friday is specific to commercial and marketing activities enabled by the new directive, reflects a representative cost to NASA, and is designed to encourage the emergence of new markets. As NASA learns how these new markets respond, the agency will reassess the pricing and amount of available resources approximately every six months and make adjustments as necessary.

To qualify, commercial and marketing activities must either:

require the unique microgravity environment to enable manufacturing, production or development of a commercial application;
have a connection to NASA’s mission; or
support the development of a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy.
NASA’s directive enabling commercial and marketing activities aboard the space station addresses manufacturing, production, transportation, and marketing of commercial resources and goods, including products intended for commercial sale on Earth. NASA astronauts will be able to conduct coordinated, scheduled and reimbursable commercial and marketing activities consistent with government ethics requirements aboard the station.

To ensure a competitive market, NASA initially is making available five percent of the agency’s annual allocation of crew resources and cargo capability, including 90 hours of crew time and 175 kg of cargo launch capability, but will limit the amount provided to any one company.

Private Astronaut Missions

NASA also is enabling private astronaut missions of up to 30 days on the International Space Station to perform duties that fall into the approved commercial and marketing activities outlined in the directive released Friday, with the first mission as early as 2020. A new NASA Research Announcement focus area issued today outlines the path for those future private astronaut missions.

If supported by the market, the agency can accommodate up to two short-duration private astronaut missions per year to the International Space Station. These missions will be privately funded, dedicated commercial spaceflights.  Private astronaut missions will use a U.S. spacecraft developed under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The commercial entity developing the mission will determine crew composition for each mission and ensure private astronauts meet NASA’s medical standards and the training and certification procedures for International Space Station crew members. Market studies identified private astronaut missions to low-Earth orbit as a key element to demonstrate demand and reduce risk for future commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit.

Commercial Destinations in Low-Earth Orbit

In the long-term, NASA’s goal is to become one of many customers purchasing services from independent, commercial and free-flying habitable destinations in low-Earth orbit. A robust low-Earth orbit economy will need multiple commercial destinations, and NASA is partnering with industry to pursue dual paths to that objective that either go through the space station or directly to a free-flying destination.

As a first step, NASA is making one space station port and utilities available for industry to attach a commercial module to support commercial activities, and today is releasing a synopsis as Appendix I in NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) 2 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). NASA expects to release the solicitation June 14, with awards made by the end of the fiscal year. The forward port of the station’s Harmony module will be available to industry for a finite period of time.

NASA will follow up with a synopsis for NextSTEP 2 Appendix K in July to partner with industry in the development of future free-flying commercial stations in low-Earth orbit.

Stimulate Sustainable Demand

NASA continues to seek and pursue opportunities to stimulate sustainable commercial demand in low-Earth orbit and, to that end, has added two new focus areas to the NASA Research Announcement soliciting proposals for commercial concepts. these focus areas include in-space manufacturing, regenerative medicine, bioengineering, and other fields that may lead to a scalable, financially self-sustaining demand for low-Earth orbit capabilities.

In addition, NASA is seeking targeted studies to better understand real and perceived barriers of potential new market entrants and to address broad ideas which could help stimulate demand. Successful proposals will define the path to broadly foster market growth, provide data-driven rationale to support the defined path, and lead to recommendations on which NASA, industry or other organizations could act. More details are available in the synopsis for NextSTEP 2 BAA Appendix J. NASA expects to release the solicitation for Appendix J on June 14 with awards made by the end of the fiscal year.

NASA also is working to increase the research and development community’s understanding of the potential value of microgravity research and the path to conducting research in low-Earth orbit by coordinating across the microgravity community to lower barriers to entry and refinement of research via drop towers, parabolic, and suborbital flights.

Quantify NASA’s Long-term Demand

NASA is providing a forecast of its minimum long-term, low-Earth orbit requirements, representing the type and amount of services that NASA intends to purchase when those services become commercially available. The goal is to reduce uncertainty for commercial destination providers about NASA as a customer, and to help them make decisions about which NASA requirements they are interested in fulfilling.

NASA also is providing details and estimated quantities for NASA crew accommodation, human research, biological and physical science research, technology demonstrations, and hosted science instruments. In addition, NASA intends to continue purchasing services for a national laboratory capability in low-Earth orbit. For example, NASA’s strategy research in the areas of space biology, physical sciences, and fundamental physics is driven by recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Fundamental research and applied exploration research are not mutually exclusive, and advances in one area often enable advancements in the other. NASA’s Space Life and Physical Sciences Research Applications division has identified the highest research priorities for long-term use of low-Earth orbit: in life sciences, the priorities are studies of plants, model organisms, and of the microbiome of the built environment; and in physical sciences, the priorities are studies into combustion and phase change-associated energy transfer.

To improve the agency’s five-part plan and its effectiveness, NASA is seeking feedback from industry and others through a request for information, with responses due by July 3.

For more than 18 years, humans have lived and worked aboard the International Space Station, conducting thousands of experiments in areas such as human research, biology, and physical science, as well as advanced technology development. Many of these experiments, conducted via the ISS National Lab, have been research and development with commercial objectives.  New opportunities are needed to move beyond research and development, and the station will play an essential role in enabling those opportunities for new commercial markets needed to build a sustainable ecosystem in low-Earth orbit.

Learn more about opportunities for commercial activities aboard the International Space Station:

https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/low-earth-orbit-economy

-end-


https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-opens-international-space-station-to-new-commercial-opportunities-private
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 03:53 pm
Here’s NASA’s Plan for Commercial LEO Development released today.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 04:16 pm
Bigelow one of the first to announce something on back of commercialization opportunity:

This would be quite an impressive step forward if/when it happens:

https://twitter.com/BigelowSpace/status/1137012892191076353

(Being discussed on Bigelow thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46305.0).)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: punder on 06/07/2019 04:34 pm
HA!
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: kevinof on 06/07/2019 04:37 pm
Do we know if these are Nasa flights or private Space X flights? 
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 04:45 pm
Do we know if these are Nasa flights or private Space X flights?

I’d be very surprised if NASA is contracting the flights, seems to go against the whole ethos of what they are trying to achieve. Also the Bigelow tweet reads to me as Bigelow has paid deposits to SpaceX.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: kevinof on 06/07/2019 04:47 pm
Interesting if that's the case. It's Space X starting to find customers outside of Nasa for Crew Dragon and make use of used D2's.

Do we know if these are Nasa flights or private Space X flights?

I’d be very surprised if NASA is contracting the flights, seems to go against the whole ethos of what they are trying to achieve. Also the Bigelow tweet reads to me as Bigelow has paid deposits to SpaceX.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/07/2019 05:13 pm
Bigelow had been notionally planning to use SpaceX to fly people to its space stations for many years, it's nice to see that come to fruition after so long. (image is from 2014!)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 05:13 pm
Interesting if that's the case. It's Space X starting to find customers outside of Nasa for Crew Dragon and make use of used D2's.

Yes, I think this announcement is a potentially a huge deal longer-term (way beyond SpaceX). For example, it could finally get Bigelow bootstrapped. It’s also not dependent on congress funding it, which is partly why I think this is likely to be more significant than Artemis.

Real echos of the past I think in this announcement:

https://twitter.com/dmoberhaus/status/1137031774805143552

Quote
The sight of senior NASA officials pitching the nation's premiere space asset to private companies at the Nasdaq stock exchange this morning is a Reagan-era dream come true:

wired.com/story/nasa-wen…
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2019 05:40 pm
Here’s the announcement and Q&A:

https://youtu.be/skhYJiIu0Qw
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/08/2019 01:21 am
ISS commercialization plans released by NASA:

Press release:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-opens-international-space-station-to-new-commercial-opportunities-private

Plan:
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/commleodevt_plan_6-7-19_final-links-new_0.pdf

Website:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/low-earth-orbit-economy

Pricing policy:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/commercial-use/pricing-policy
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/08/2019 01:23 am
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1136994156595859456
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/08/2019 01:25 am
Archived video of the announcement starts at 1h34m:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/122265204
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/08/2019 01:55 am
Quote from: SN
NASA will also allow commercial crew providers to transport private astronauts to the station. The agency will allow two such astronauts per year on the station for missions no longer than 30 days each. Those astronauts will be charged about $35,000 per day by NASA for use of station resources, like life support, as well as the fees charged by the companies arranging the flights.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-releases-iss-commercialization-plan/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/08/2019 02:16 am
Actually, NASA said that it would allow two private missions per year. So she (Robyn) later said a dozen private astronauts per year would be allowed. 
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: mlindner on 06/08/2019 06:57 pm
Quote from: SN
NASA will also allow commercial crew providers to transport private astronauts to the station. The agency will allow two such astronauts per year on the station for missions no longer than 30 days each. Those astronauts will be charged about $35,000 per day by NASA for use of station resources, like life support, as well as the fees charged by the companies arranging the flights.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-releases-iss-commercialization-plan/

This is incorrect, as mentioned in the panel it's two private astronaut _missions_ per year not two astronauts. Those spacecraft can be completely full of private astronauts depending on how many seats are on the spacecraft.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/08/2019 08:38 pm
Private Astronaut Missions link:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/private-astronaut-missions
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Steam Chaser on 06/08/2019 09:19 pm
Similar to the Bigelow twitter response, Axiom Space twitter noted "Today NASA publicly announced its plan to broaden access to the International Space Station through commercial partners.  Axiom, solely through private funding, has already made significant strides toward leading the charge.  Those include agreements to fly multiple flights to ISS starting in 2020, ..."
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: MattMason on 06/09/2019 01:53 pm
I'll need to find time to read more of the official documents. But with Bigelow's involvement, I'm not clear on what will hopefully benefit them more. Getting seats paid for trips to station are fine. Given their business, is this going to be a push to add a private habitat of their design (customized for station mass and available ports) or just for funds to whet the whistles of tourists or private investors flying up and only using spacecraft and ISS resources?

Either way, it's a fascinating series of events.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Lar on 06/09/2019 04:55 pm
Soon we'll see rival stations posting up .. "your astros only pay 23,500 a day and power is a measly 29.95 per kwH instead of 42" :)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/09/2019 08:05 pm
I'll need to find time to read more of the official documents. But with Bigelow's involvement, I'm not clear on what will hopefully benefit them more. Getting seats paid for trips to station are fine. Given their business, is this going to be a push to add a private habitat of their design (customized for station mass and available ports) or just for funds to whet the whistles of tourists or private investors flying up and only using spacecraft and ISS resources?

Either way, it's a fascinating series of events.

On that issue, here is what NASA's press release says:

Quote from: NASA
As a first step, NASA is making one space station port and utilities available for industry to attach a commercial module to support commercial activities, and today is releasing a synopsis as Appendix I in NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) 2 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). NASA expects to release the solicitation June 14, with awards made by the end of the fiscal year. The forward port of the station’s Harmony module will be available to industry for a finite period of time.

NASA will follow up with a synopsis for NextSTEP 2 Appendix K in July to partner with industry in the development of future free-flying commercial stations in low-Earth orbit.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-opens-international-space-station-to-new-commercial-opportunities-private
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/09/2019 08:37 pm
This is a bit of a guess on my part but given that both Bigelow and Axiom announced that they were in discussions to fly private astronauts to ISS makes me believe that they are the leading companies for these 2 private missions per year.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/09/2019 09:08 pm
With only one port up for grabs and two competitors its winner take all. The alternative is Bigelow and Axiom share port by joining their two modules. They can still compete while sharing resources.

There are three companies trying to make go of ZBLAN fibre production, also couple companies want to do inspace assembly of satellites so hopefully enough business to support two modules.

I can see ZBLAN eventually moving to unmanned free flyer. Will allow for lower cost cargo vehicles that don't need to meet ISS strict safety critera. Before this happens will need to perfect automated production on manned station.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/10/2019 12:50 am
Slides 33 to 43 relate to ISS commercialization and are interesting:
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/iss_nac_may_2019_rev_b.pdf
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Tomness on 06/10/2019 12:52 am
With only one port up for grabs and two competitors its winner take all. The alternative is Bigelow and Axiom share port by joining their two modules. They can still compete while sharing resources.


It would be awesome if they can both win, and double the living space of the ISS. If they could power them selves and maintain semi-independence. They could both be the Next Step to Commercial LEO Stations.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: brickmack on 06/11/2019 01:17 am
With only one port up for grabs and two competitors its winner take all.

I'd hope more ports become available for expansion later on. Most of the proposals add 2-4 additional ports. And node 2 nadir could be used (as was planned originally with node 3), provided its CBM can be made up for elsewhere
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 06/11/2019 04:33 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1138481330512191488
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/12/2019 12:09 am
Here is an article by Jeff Foust on this topic:
https://spacenews.com/companies-express-varying-interest-in-nasas-iss-commercialization-plan/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/12/2019 12:19 am
Here is the press release by Bigelow:

https://www.bigelowspaceops.com/flytotheiss.php
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Tywin on 06/12/2019 02:54 am
Interesting if that's the case. It's Space X starting to find customers outside of Nasa for Crew Dragon and make use of used D2's.

Do we know if these are Nasa flights or private Space X flights?

I’d be very surprised if NASA is contracting the flights, seems to go against the whole ethos of what they are trying to achieve. Also the Bigelow tweet reads to me as Bigelow has paid deposits to SpaceX.

And for Boeing and her Starliner...

Two spacecraft by year, one for each company, 7 seats for sell, at maybe 30 million per tourist, 210 Million per fly, not bad at all, and by 50 million per seat, 350 millions...good enough...
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Tywin on 06/12/2019 02:57 am
Maybe this is, the beginning of space Hotels in LEO? And the really spread of the space tourism industry?
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Tywin on 06/12/2019 03:16 am
By the way, if SNC development the crew spacecraft DreamChaser they can participate in this new program for the ISS?
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/14/2019 11:58 pm
Yes, see below:

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1137031511557853184
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: gongora on 06/21/2019 08:44 pm
Solicitation for using a port on the ISS was released:
https://www.fbo.gov/notices/86d28a489edcc585145a0e0da2caaadc

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1142162984342630400
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/24/2019 02:51 pm
There was also this tweet by Jeff Foust right before the two others above:

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1142141442632167425
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Asteroza on 06/27/2019 11:38 pm
One wonders that with thinking along these lines, there would have been a huge initial award priority for something like an extended node module with many ports to facilitate all this commercialization. Doesn't even need to be fitted out at launch, so you might be able to shift more mass to increasing overall length. That, or a "sacrificial" Cygnus pressurized cargo module left at the station that leaves more ports than it used.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:42 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148962973567901697
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:42 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148964140540731392
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:43 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148966873775661057
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:43 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148968182654394368
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:43 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148971168457777152
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:44 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148971824778293248
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:46 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148975482043555842
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:47 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148976493906800640
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 07/10/2019 03:47 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1148976493906800640
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Hog on 07/10/2019 06:41 pm
ISS to 2030?    Wow!
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/11/2019 08:28 am
Video of yesterday's hearing - now extra significance as last appearance by Gerst as HEOMD head:

https://youtu.be/sKrwuRNDlAk

Quote
Review of NASA's International Space Station Plans, House Space Subcommittee, July 10, 2019

On July 10, 2019, the House Subcommittee on Space And Aeronautics held a hearing titled, "A Review of NASA’s Plans for the International Space Station and Future Activities in Low Earth Orbit."  Invited witnesses were:

William H. Gerstenmaier
Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Paul K. Martin
Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Professor Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz
Emerita University of Mississippi, Editor-in-Chief Emerita, Journal of Space Law

Eric W. Stallmer
President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The event was webcast live and is in the public domain.  The event's web page is
https://science.house.gov/hearings/a-review-of-nasas-plans-for-the-international-space-station-and-future-activities-in-low-earth-orbit
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: starbase on 07/26/2019 06:21 pm
With Crew Dragon, Starliner, now Dragon 2 and later Dream Chaser all using the two available PMA/IDA docking ports, I wonder if it's not time to convert one CBM to a docking port with a new adapter module. Especially as additional crew flights with commercial astronauts were announced just recently. Are just two docking ports enough to handle all those visiting vehicles?
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: brickmack on 07/26/2019 06:25 pm
With Crew Dragon, Starliner, now Dragon 2 and later Dream Chaser all using the two available PMA/IDA docking ports, I wonder if it's not time to convert one CBM to a docking port with a new adapter module. Especially as additional crew flights with commercial astronauts were announced just recently. Are just two docking ports enough to handle all those visiting vehicles?

Still need at least 2 CBMs for redundancy, unless all visiting vehicles move to IDS (all 3 commercial cargo vehicles use IDS either exclusively or as an option, but HTV is CBM only). Most of the proposals for the commercial module at Node 2 forward will add a couple radial ports (some CBM, some IDS), these could be used for crew vehicle docking
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/19/2019 07:51 pm
This is mainly about Nanoracks but also covers future of ISS. Also listen to part 1.

https://spaceq.ca/the-commercialization-of-low-earth-orbit-space-station-habitats-part-2/

Nanoracks initial focus is unmanned (vibration free) free flyers. Ideally close to ISS to allow occasional crew visits and also to tag onto ISS supply train.
While Nanoracks are interested in manned stations, I can't see them going after this market anytime soon. The unmanned stations are lot cheaper to setup and maintain.


Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/26/2019 10:30 pm
Pre-solicitation for private astronaut missions to ISS was announced today:

Single Seat Flight Opportunity

Notice ID 80JSC020SSFO
Original Published Date: Nov 26, 2019 03:28 pm CST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is issuing this pre-solicitation notice as a means to inform commercial entities having an interest in and the resources necessary to support the requirement for an International Space Station (ISS) single flight opportunity for a duration of 15 to 30 days to be performed no later than 2024. The Agency intends to fulfill this requirement by utilizing a seat on a private astronaut mission (https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/private-astronaut-missions (https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/private-astronaut-missions)), inclusive of crew member training, medical support, launch, on-orbit services and resources, and return.  Prospective offerors may propose the use of government provided resources and services on a negotiated basis as required to enable the flight opportunity.  NASA retains authority for crew assignment of the single seat.

The government intends to compete this requirement as a full and open competition utilizing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 12 “Commercial Item” and a streamlined procurement approach.

Parties interested in fulfilling this ISS single flight opportunity requirement must first submit a private astronaut mission white paper in response to ISS NASA Research Announcement NNJ13ZBG001N entitled “Research Opportunities for ISS Utilization” dated August 16, 2019, Focus Area 4 entitled “Private Astronaut Missions to the International Space Station”, which can be accessed here: https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/cmdocumentid=704239/solicitationId=%7B21E0270C-BC1F-EFC4-3D87-30713B5FF373%7D/viewSolicitationDocument=1/2012%20Research%20Opportunities%20for%20ISS%20Utilization%20NRA%20Aug%202019_8.16.pdf (https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/cmdocumentid=704239/solicitationId=%7B21E0270C-BC1F-EFC4-3D87-30713B5FF373%7D/viewSolicitationDocument=1/2012%20Research%20Opportunities%20for%20ISS%20Utilization%20NRA%20Aug%202019_8.16.pdf).

The white paper submittal to the NRA in support of this potential acquisition must outline the private astronaut mission concept, including accommodating the NASA single seat on a mission where the NASA seat occupant is one of no more than four total crew members on the private astronaut mission.  NASA will review the white paper and provide a high-level feasibility assessment to the proposer within three weeks of receipt.  Only offerors who obtain a successful private astronaut mission feasibility assessment will be eligible to submit a proposal for the planned future single flight opportunity solicitation.  The solicitation will detail the proposal submission requirements applicable to the single flight opportunity.

The private astronaut mission will be responsible for all aspects of seat integration. NASA intends to make available up to two private astronaut mission opportunities per year based on currently available schedule information and will make available one of those opportunities to fulfill this single seat requirement. The mission schedule is subject to NASA vehicle traffic changes, anomalies, or other unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

https://beta.sam.gov/opp/13cc1b5699ac4d548723bbb1eeea65e7/view (https://beta.sam.gov/opp/13cc1b5699ac4d548723bbb1eeea65e7/view)

(pdf file referenced above is also attached)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 11/28/2019 12:12 am
Related to the post above:

NASA Announces Intent to Procure a Future Short Duration Spaceflight Opportunity:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-announces-intent-to-procure-a-future-short-duration-spaceflight-opportunity
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/18/2019 04:27 pm
Hmmm

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1207333066043211776

Quote
In a briefing at KSC on commercial crew and LEO commercialization, NASA’s Sam Scimemi says the agency is still evaluating what the $15M in FY20 for LEO commercialization (vs $150M requested) means for that overall initiative.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Olaf on 12/20/2019 07:37 am
https://www.alphaspace.com/news/individuals-and-merchants-can-now-fly-goods-on-iss/
Individuals and Merchants Can Now Fly Goods on ISS
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: su27k on 04/21/2020 01:23 pm
NASA adjusting its strategy for LEO commercialization (https://spacenews.com/nasa-adjusting-its-strategy-for-leo-commercialization/)

Quote
Less than a year after rolling out a broad strategy for supporting commercial activity in low Earth orbit, NASA is working to revise that strategy while restructuring its management of commercial initiatives.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 05/12/2020 05:34 pm
See post below (this is a commercial opportunity since the UAE could pay a commercial crew provider for its seat as it did for Soyuz for its first astronaut in 2019):

UAE to select next astronauts in January (that may fly on commercial crew):

Quote from: Jeff Foust
“While they are training, we will be looking at the different options for flights and select the most suitable for us going forward,” he said [Salem AlMarri, the head of the UAE astronaut program],  That could include flights on Russian Soyuz spacecraft as well as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. “We plan through next year to look at trying to get different opportunities to secure a seat for one of our astronauts.”

https://spacenews.com/uae-to-select-next-astronauts-in-january/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: high road on 05/27/2020 08:56 am

According to the 2019 budget request, ISS Systems Operations and Maintenance cost 1,105.5 million dollars per year. That's without the funding for research and commercial cargo and crew. If a commercial space station needs to cover the same cost, that's a hard bar to clear.

Any ideas why this is so high? Where could I find more information about what elements contribute to this number?

I'm currently running a simulation on which factors have the most effect on the cost of using a space station, and this one is coming up on top. Playing with it has a huge effect on prices a space station can ask for its services. I'd like my guesstimates to be somewhat realistic.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 06/04/2020 01:44 pm
Related to the post above:

NASA Announces Intent to Procure a Future Short Duration Spaceflight Opportunity:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-announces-intent-to-procure-a-future-short-duration-spaceflight-opportunity

This synopsis was quietly cancelled on Feb. 6th 2020: "NASA has canceled the synopsis for single seat acquisition, and the agency is reevaluating its strategy for meeting short-duration astronaut mission requirements."
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 06/07/2020 09:05 pm
Sorry this is about ESA ISS commercialization.
Business Opportunities/Partners for Space Exploration (https://www.esa.int/About_Us/Business_with_ESA/Business_Opportunities/Partners_for_Space_Exploration)

Quote
Announcement of Opportunity: Commercial Exploitation of ETC (European Transport Carrier) Replacement on ISS Columbus

ESA is preparing an upgrade of the passive Columbus D4 rack position currently occupied by the European Transport Carrier (ETC). Based on extended accommodation needs for further Class 2 payloads in Columbus, this location will be upgraded to an active rack location/platform. This new Columbus infrastructure item is named 'ETC Replacement' aimed to provide basic resources such as power, thermal control, and physical accommodation to current and future experiment and technology demonstration devices. Data routing will be achieved via MPCC.

Commercial development and exploitation

The ETC Replacement is planned to be developed in the frame of an Invitation to Tender (ITT), published on EMITS under the new reference AO 1-10351/20/NL/PG/eg (re-issued) with a deadline for submissions no later than 6 July 2020 (extended). At the same time, ESA is interested in the commercial development and exploitation of the ETC Replacement facility as a commercial service, however the preferred approach has not been selected.

This could become the fourth european commercial facility at the ISS. After: ICEcubes, Bartolomeo and Bioreactor Express.
This is a full storage rack (ISPR/Class1) location that can utilize power and cooling from an adjacent science rack.
NASA and CASIS are a lot farther with commercialization of the ISS. But ESA joins the effort.
 
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/19/2020 07:23 pm
Yesterday NASA released an RFI titled "Private Astronaut Mission Liability Framework"

Link is as follows:
https://beta.sam.gov/opp/ad4bfe9315004a4cbfe4cc0716431ce9/view (https://beta.sam.gov/opp/ad4bfe9315004a4cbfe4cc0716431ce9/view)

The scope is for missions to the ISS and has the following opening remarks:

On June 7, 2019, NASA issued the "NASA Plan for Commercial LEO Development,” which outlined a multi-pronged approach to enabling commercial activity in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) as described here: https://nasa.gov/leo-economy/vision-for-low-earth-orbit-economy (https://nasa.gov/leo-economy/vision-for-low-earth-orbit-economy).  This approach includes enabling flight of private astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

In order to enable such Private Astronaut Missions (PAMs), NASA released additional guidance regarding PAMs to the ISS, including the process for seeking approval of a PAM.  More specifically, NASA expanded the International Space Station Utilization NASA Research Announcement to add Focus Area 4, Private Astronaut Missions.  To effectuate Private Astronaut Missions to the ISS envisioned in the NRA, NASA is establishing a liability framework.   

NASA is requesting feedback on the current proposed liability framework for Private Astronaut Missions, as outlined below, and its perceived impact on the goals set forth in NASA’s Vision for Economic Development in LEO.


There are more details in the RFI link, but so far no additional supporting documents have been posted.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/22/2020 05:07 pm
https://twitter.com/jimbridenstine/status/1275111069846028290

Quote
One year ago @NASA announced the @Space_Station is open for business. Learn about the progress we've made in the last year, including agreements with @Axiom_Space and @virgingalactic to enable private astronaut missions ➡️ nasa.gov/press-release/…

Quote
June 22, 2020

NASA Moving Forward to Enable a Low-Earth Orbit Economy

One year ago, NASA announced the agency is opening the space station for business, enabling commercial and marketing opportunities on the station, and the agency has moved forward toward its ultimate goal in low-Earth orbit to partner with industry to achieve a strong ecosystem in which NASA is one of many customers purchasing services and capabilities at lower cost. Providing expanded opportunities at the International Space Station to manufacture, market and promote commercial products and services will help catalyze and expand space exploration markets for many businesses.

The new policy includes activities that can be as simple as a product pictured in space for use in marketing materials or a company flying and returning commemorative or other items to be sold after having been in space. NASA crew members on the station also can support these activities behind the scenes. The key is that the activity must require the unique microgravity environment, have a nexus to the NASA mission, or support the development of a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy.

U.S. entities can continue to submit proposals for such activities. NASA has received five proposals so far for commercial and marketing opportunities on the station, and the first of those agreements is already now at the station, launched on the SpaceX CRS-20 mission. The agency has two signed Reimbursable Space Act Agreements (RSAA), is processing two, and is evaluating one more. NASA is making available annually 90 hours of crew time and 175 kg of cargo launch capability but will limit the amount provided to any one company.

NASA also enabled private astronaut missions to the station, ensuring the ability to accommodate two missions each year at the space station of up to 30 days duration. The agency has an agreement in place with KBR to train private astronauts using NASA facilities. NASA has an agreement with Axiom Space for developing plans to enable private astronaut missions to the space station. In addition, the agency signed an agreement with Virgin Galactic as it develops a program to identify candidates interested in purchasing private astronaut missions to the station then procures the transportation, on-orbit resources, and ground resources for private astronaut missions.

Axiom Space and SpaceX made a separate agreement for a future private astronaut mission to the station. And SpaceX also announced an agreement for another private astronaut mission not to the space station, an example of NASA enabling a broader market in space. Axiom’s partnership with SpaceX for a private astronaut mission and Virgin Galactic’s plans to develop a new private orbital astronaut readiness program directly support NASA’s broad strategy to facilitate the commercialization of low-Earth orbit by U.S. entities.

NASA awarded a contract to Axiom Space to provide at least one habitable commercial module to be attached to the International Space Station. NASA also intends to support development of free-flying commercial destinations with release of a solicitation soon.

These companies are willing to make these commitments because they can see the long-term potential to sell services to both the U.S. government and to private citizens. They are putting their private capital at risk in these developments for future profit, whether from the U.S. government flying astronauts, or other missions for private astronauts.

NASA also is providing seed money for seven proposals to enable enterprising companies to mature their concepts and stimulate scalable demand for existing and future platforms in space. One example is the work LambdaVision is doing to produce protein-based artificial retinas in space that would be returned to Earth for surgical implant to restore sight for patients suffering from degenerative retinal diseases.

At release, NASA provided a forecast of its minimum long-term, low-Earth orbit requirements, representing the type and amount of services that NASA intends to purchase when those services become commercially available.

Creating a robust economy in low-Earth orbit will be dependent on bringing many new companies and people into that economy, and will require the development of not only the supply of services but also the demand for those capabilities. We are continuing to see new entrants enabled by the new commercial use policy, and via research and development being conducted through the ISS National Laboratory. NASA continues to work with industry to reduce areas of uncertainty regarding the future of these commercial activities.

NASA’s goal is to achieve a robust economy in low-Earth orbit from which the agency can purchase services as one of many customers. A robust commercial space economy ensures national interests for research and development in low-Earth orbit are fulfilled while allowing NASA to focus government resources on deep space exploration through the Artemis program and land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024.
Last Updated: June 22, 2020
Editor: Michael Johnson

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-moving-forward-to-enable-a-low-earth-orbit-economy
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/25/2020 12:59 pm
Not just NASA pursuing increased commercialization:

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1276136254267183104

Quote
Roscosmos says two space tourists will fly to the ISS on a Soyuz in 2023.

twitter.com/roscosmos/status/1276135934204002305

Google translate:

Quote
Between RKK #Энергия and company #SpaceAdventures a contract was signed for a short-term expedition of two space flight participants to the ISS - roscosmos.ru/28730/

🚀 The launch on the Soyuz MS ship will take place in 2023
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 08/27/2020 03:37 pm
Quote from: Marcia Smith
Hart: working on enabling LEO commercialization per Appendix I and J.
Won't be moving forward on Appendix K for now.

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1299005739877445634
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 08/27/2020 03:39 pm
Quote
Hart: private astronaut missions (PAMs).  Have Space Act Agreements in place already.  2 mission specific proposals under evaluation today. Can't go into details but very exciting. Looking at 2 short duration missions/year, 10-30 day missions.

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1299006546249211905
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 08/31/2020 02:08 am
For the free flyer, it seems that a new sollicitation will be issued:

Quote from: Space News
“We definitely want to do a free-flyer acquisition,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight programs at NASA, in the same panel. “I can’t promise any specific timelines associated with that, but we are definitely working on the free flyer and intend to release a solicitation soon on that once we get our strategy all agreed to internally.”

https://spacenews.com/nasa-puts-solicitation-for-commercial-free-flyer-station-on-hold/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/08/2020 01:01 pm
Quote
Gerstenmaier warns against ending space station program prematurely
by Jeff Foust — September 8, 2020

WASHINGTON — The former head of NASA’s human spaceflight program, now working as a consultant to SpaceX, said he welcomes greater commercial activity in low Earth orbit but cautioned against ending the International Space Station prematurely.

https://spacenews.com/gerstenmaier-warns-against-ending-space-station-program-prematurely/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 11/10/2020 08:37 pm
Quote from: NASA OIG
OIG announces review of NASA’s Commercialization of Low Earth Orbit.

https://twitter.com/NASAOIG/status/1326276477218775041
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 11/11/2020 10:33 pm
Quote from: Axiom Space
A multinational crew composed of three private astronauts and @CommanderMLA have now officially signed with Axiom. In other words: the first private crew to go to orbit in human history – the crew of Ax-1 – has been assembled. Mission launches NET late 2021. More details soon.

Quote from: Michael Lopez-Alegria
I’m so grateful for this opportunity; we’re going to have a #Blast!

https://twitter.com/CommanderMLA/status/1326631425605578757
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 01/14/2021 02:11 pm
Concerning the free flyer station in LEO, Phil McAlister had this to say about it, at yesterday's NAC HEO meeting:

https://twitter.com/genejm29/status/1349419793082970125

https://twitter.com/genejm29/status/1349421001331847170
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 01/14/2021 06:37 pm
The 'HEO Commercial Spaceflight Development' presentation and the other presentations from the 13 & 14 Januari 21 (HEO) Human Exploration and Operations Committee virtual meeting can be found on:
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc (https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 03/05/2021 12:48 am
NASA hikes prices for commercial ISS users:
https://spacenews.com/nasa-hikes-prices-for-commercial-iss-users/

Updated pricing policy:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/commercial-use/pricing-policy
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Tomness on 03/05/2021 03:49 am
NASA hikes prices for commercial ISS users:
https://spacenews.com/nasa-hikes-prices-for-commercial-iss-users/

Updated pricing policy:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/commercial-use/pricing-policy

Sounds like a nice time polishing off that old Dragon Lab/ Cygnus Lab and commerical free flyer station.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: eeergo on 03/05/2021 01:56 pm
NASA hikes prices for commercial ISS users:
https://spacenews.com/nasa-hikes-prices-for-commercial-iss-users/

Updated pricing policy:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/commercial-use/pricing-policy

Sounds like a nice time polishing off that old Dragon Lab/ Cygnus Lab and commerical free flyer station.

I wonder how much the aforementioned systems have to do with the hike...
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/23/2021 04:19 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1374409475616960523

Quote
NASA has posted the slides for its industry briefing later today on commercial LEO destinations. Key takeaway: they now plan to award several funded Space Act Agreements for initial concept studies, then purchase “destination services” when available.
https://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/CLD/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 03/23/2021 05:20 pm
This seems to be related to what was previously called Nextstep, Appendix K, the Free Flyer. I believe that it replaces it.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 03/23/2021 08:01 pm
https://twitter.com/LauraForczyk/status/1374454571892760576
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 03/23/2021 11:29 pm
NASA to offer funding for initial studies of commercial space stations:
https://spacenews.com/nasa-to-offer-funding-for-initial-studies-of-commercial-space-stations/

https://twitter.com/SpaceNews_Inc/status/1374875187167031296
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/24/2021 04:57 pm
NASA forecast of having 2 astronauts permanently on commercial station may sound like downsize from current 3-4. In fact its not from research point of view. Current ISS crew spent large part of their time maintaining ISS, on commercial station it will be owner's crew responsibility. 

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: ncb1397 on 03/24/2021 05:07 pm
NASA forecast of having 2 astronauts permanently on commercial station may sound like downsize from current 3-4. In fact its not from research point of view. Current ISS crew spent large part of their time maintaining ISS, on commercial station it will be owner's crew responsibility. 

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Possibly not. If something breaks on Crew Dragon during Inspiration 4 flight, there are no SpaceX employees to fix it. If there are no Axiom (or whatever company it turns out to be) employees or contractors on board, it is going to fall on the NASA astronauts to resolve. Same goes for any of the regular commercial crew flights that are not flying SpaceX/Boeing astronauts. So, the arrangement is likely pretty fluid. NASA would have no issues performing maintenance tasks. Part of the point though is sharing this station with other passengers. If the crew vehicles have capacity for 4, you don't want to crowd out the market and buy every seat. This defacto puts open unfilled seats onto the open market.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: gemmy0I on 03/24/2021 07:56 pm
NASA forecast of having 2 astronauts permanently on commercial station may sound like downsize from current 3-4. In fact its not from research point of view. Current ISS crew spent large part of their time maintaining ISS, on commercial station it will be owner's crew responsibility. 
This is quite interesting as it relates to Axiom's hiring of two full-time professional astronauts (Lopez-Alegria and Whitson) already, with (for all we know) more such announcements coming down the pike. Given Axiom's extensive experience and connections with ISS program management, they are presumably very aware of NASA's thought process on how it would like task responsibilities to work on private stations in the future, and their staffing decisions reflect that.

It certainly makes sense for maintenance on a private station to be primarily the responsibility of a full-time private crew rather than visiting tenants. Otherwise there would be little difference in practice between the operating model of a government space station vs. a private space station with government anchor tenants. It would, in effect, be a government station (albeit with a few private "side tenants") built through private contracts - more or less what the ISS is (or is becoming) already. Since the whole point of shifting to private stations is to allow private companies to innovate and compete on operational efficiency and costs, it stands to reason they should bear the costs of those operational responsibilities independently of the "end-to-end" service presented to tenants.

Especially early on, the lines will have to blur a bit; during the initial build-out and setup of a private station, there will be limited facilities to support large crews, necessitating some "wearing of multiple hats" if NASA wants to provide any share of the crew in those early days. But NASA's goal of 2 astronauts makes clear that they are pushing for a cleaner division of labor long-term.

I do suspect that this "2 astronaut" goal is just a baseline starting point for NASA. It represents a continuation but not an increase of the capabilities currently offered by ISS. But if private stations can reduce costs substantially compared to ISS, NASA will no doubt be eager to get more "bang for their buck" by sending up even more astronauts. There will certainly be no lack of science to keep them busy. Also, NASA has a large astronaut corps that will need flight opportunities. I imagine they won't be too happy if flight opportunities are cut in half due to half the responsibility shifting to private astronaut corps. Best to capitalize on the new opportunities by expanding the pie across the board.

And may I just say, it is very cool to see things trending in the direction sci-fi has long known it must, where eventually ordinary folk will fill private-sector jobs as space station mechanics. :D
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 03/27/2021 02:23 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1374409475616960523

Quote
NASA has posted the slides for its industry briefing later today on commercial LEO destinations. Key takeaway: they now plan to award several funded Space Act Agreements for initial concept studies, then purchase “destination services” when available.
https://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/CLD/

I have created a new thread for the Commercial LEO Destinations Development since these habitats are free-flyers and thus will not be attached to the ISS:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=53450.0
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 05/08/2021 02:55 am
NASA increases prices for ISS private astronaut missions:
https://spacenews.com/nasa-increases-prices-for-iss-private-astronaut-missions/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 05/08/2021 03:01 am
The new pricing policy can be found here:
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/commercial-use/pricing-policy
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 05/10/2021 03:46 pm
The research opportunities for ISS utilization document was updated on April 29th, especially as it relates to private astronauts missions: https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/cmdocumentid=817183/solicitationId=%7B21E0270C-BC1F-EFC4-3D87-30713B5FF373%7D/viewSolicitationDocument=1/2012%20Research%20Opportunities%20for%20ISS%20Utilization%20NRA%20April%202020_04.29.2021.pdf
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 05/10/2021 04:20 pm
See below for the achived video of the Axiom-NASA teleconference which discussed commercialization of the ISS:

Media Teleconference: 1st Private Astronaut Mission with Axiom Space:

https://youtu.be/Ut424lARD3w
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/11/2021 09:07 pm
NASA has posted a new solicitation for proposals for further Private Astronaut Mission Flight Opportunities.

https://sam.gov/opp/3e1ed8eaa5004955a44f675b7c390d37/view (https://sam.gov/opp/3e1ed8eaa5004955a44f675b7c390d37/view)

"NASA is soliciting proposals for two independent flight opportunities with launch dates between November 2022 through the end of December 2023 for Phase II of Focus Area 4A. The maximum number of private astronauts per mission shall not exceed four (4), and the maximum planned docked duration shall not exceed 14 days.

Note that specific launch dates are dependent on ISS vehicle traffic and on-orbit activity planning and constraints. No white papers will be accepted as a part of this solicitation. Proposals are due July 9, 2021, at 5 PM Eastern Time.

NASA will host a pre-proposer’s conference to field industry questions related to this announcement on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT."


------------

Copy of updated "Research Opportunities for International Space Station Utilization" NASA Research Announcement: NNJ13ZBG001N is attached.  The section on private astronaut missions has been amended.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/24/2021 08:35 pm
NASA has updated the Private Astronaut Mission Flight Opportunities synopsis with postings of Pre-Proposal presentation charts, attendees & interested parties list, and Q&As.

https://sam.gov/opp/5b970d59bbe848fb89d88502e1d74b2a/view (https://sam.gov/opp/5b970d59bbe848fb89d88502e1d74b2a/view)

Copies of documents attached.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: jebbo on 07/23/2021 06:19 am
For commercialisation, ISS capacity seems important (long duration rather than visiting vehicle).

At present, capacity is 7, with 4 in Harmony, 2 in Zvezda and 1 in Crew Dragon.

Once Nauka docks (fingers-crossed), 1 moves from Harmony into the Nauka, and the person in Crew Dragon can move into Harmony.

Each Axiom Hub will provide 4 crew quarters, so there's an obvious roadmap from 7 now, to 11 around 2024, then to 15 around 2026 as these launch.

But I wonder about use of Crew Dragon. Was that merely a temporary thing until Nauka, or is it sustainable?

If it is sustainable, and if crew rotation changes to have both Crew Dragon and Starliner docked (giving both providers 2 flights a year, which I'm sure they want), capacity could be increased by 2.

--- Tony


Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 07/23/2021 03:07 pm
Jebbo sorry but in my opinion you are looking at the wrong thing. You look at sleeping quarters, while the thing you have to look at is ECLSS systems capability. To show you graphically I've updated the system rack topology.
You only looked at the orange racks, direct crew utility racks like the crew quarters, CASA, Galley rack, T2 treadmill and most likely the lavatory (WHC).
What you're overlooking is all the green and blue racks. This is what is limiting the ISS crew for longtherm at 7 astronauts. I don't have the full picture of the ECLSS system capabilities. I expect Water recovery is the most limiting.

Indeed the Axiom Hab modules will provide all facilities for four crew members. So they require:
- 4x Crew quarter
- Lavatory
- most likely another Galley
- a OGS (Oxygen Generation System)
- a CO2 scrubber / ARS (Air Revitalization System) [also humidity control / water condenser]
- a TCS (Thermal Control System)
- most likely a water recovery system
As a result of all these required systems, these modules can only accommodate the equivalence of two ISPR/ER-xB (Basic Express Racks) for science.

I think the important thing to do in the ISS is micro gravity research/science/production. Not accommodating for as many as possible visiting and micro-G ruining astronauts/tourists.
In my opinion space tourism and microG science can't be combined in the same station.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: jebbo on 07/24/2021 05:44 am
Jebbo sorry but in my opinion you are looking at the wrong thing. You look at sleeping quarters, while the thing you have to look at is ECLSS systems capability. To show you graphically I've updated the system rack topology.

Thanks! Actually, I agree ... not quite sure how I managed to ignore the rest of the life support and thermal control needed.

The topoloigy diagrams are great, BTW. Very useful.

Quote
I think the important thing to do in the ISS is micro gravity research/science/production. Not accommodating for as many as possible visiting and micro-G ruining astronauts/tourists.
In my opinion space tourism and microG science can't be combined in the same station.

While I largely agree with you, it feels inevitable that the ISS will have to accomodate both. Not just the (for example) AX-1 / 2 / 3 / 4 flights but Russian passengers as well.

I'm hoping there will be multiple stations soon: not just for tourism, but some industrial protoyping stuff (e.g. fibre optics)

--- Tony
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: lykos on 07/26/2021 04:36 pm
....I'm hoping there will be multiple stations soon: not just for tourism, but some industrial protoyping stuff (e.g. fibre optics)
--- Tony

Let the SX-Starship fly! Each SS in orbit can and will be a big spacestation for many weeks!
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: RonM on 07/26/2021 06:00 pm
....I'm hoping there will be multiple stations soon: not just for tourism, but some industrial protoyping stuff (e.g. fibre optics)
--- Tony

Let the SX-Starship fly! Each SS in orbit can and will be a big spacestation for many weeks!

Like the Spacelab missions carried on Space Shuttles. SpaceX could build a SS version with a crew compartment and a cargo bay. Depending on what's in the cargo bay, it could be used for experiments or tourism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacelab
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 11/11/2021 04:13 am
Interestingly at 37 minutes of the SpaceX Crew-3 post launch press conference, Frank de Winne of ESA said that some ESA countries will be interested in flying some short-duration private astronaut missions and that ESA would train the astronauts for these missions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ikCd_4PrGw&t=1369s
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 12/15/2021 03:20 am
The Research Opportunities for ISS Utilization document which discusses namely ISS private missions was updated on December 8th (attached):
https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?solId=%7B21E0270C-BC1F-EFC4-3D87-30713B5FF373%7D&path=&method=init
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 12/15/2021 03:21 am
NASA Selects Second Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station (the Axiom-2 mission):
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-second-private-astronaut-mission-to-space-station
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 01/19/2022 02:55 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1483539247906926594

https://twitter.com/genejm29/status/1483807254797340678
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 01/19/2022 10:24 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1483810653894815755
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: su27k on 04/21/2022 05:05 am
This is from an engineer at the ISS Payload Operations Center: https://twitter.com/space_mace/status/1516449498574336006

Quote
Fun fact: 20 percent of the research payloads on ISS, for the entire history of the station, have been flown and operated in the last 2 years.

Quote
Question: Oooh, that is a fun fact! What accounts for that increase?



Answer: Being a ground systems guy, I'm not the best positioned to know, but from the discussions I am part of:
1. Commercial Crew allows additional crew time for payload ops = more payloads
2. Commercial cargo capabilities are helping us fly more payloads, especially sorties.
3. Continuing push of ISS as research platform/commercialization/commercial partners
4. we're getting a lot of new payloads, rather than repeats/refly/tweaks to existing payloads.

For the team here at ISS Payload Ops, the big story is that we've been able to support this huge increase while supporting in our pandemic posture.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 04/27/2022 03:57 pm
NASA has updated the Private Astronaut Mission Flight Opportunities synopsis with postings of Pre-Proposal presentation charts, attendees & interested parties list, and Q&As.

https://sam.gov/opp/5b970d59bbe848fb89d88502e1d74b2a/view (https://sam.gov/opp/5b970d59bbe848fb89d88502e1d74b2a/view)

Copies of documents attached.

A permanent link to this presentation and other documents related to the solicitation can be found here:
https://www.nasa.gov/jsc/procurement/pams

Looking at the Q&A, a couple of the questions were interesting:

Quote from: Q&A Document
4) Question: This NRA [NASA Research Announcement] requires a USOS ride - can a proposal address an alternative or propose a vehicle other than a Crew Dragon?

Answer: Yes. Proposals may address alternatives or propose vehicles other than a Crew Dragon. If the PAM Provider contracts with a Transportation Provider other than a certified USCV additional NASA assessment and agreement may have to be negotiated and finalized prior to execution of a contractual instrument or agreement. Prospective proposers that propose a transportation vehicle, such as a Crew Dragon, alternative or otherwise, must meet the requirements of Section 2.2 of PACE Annex 1, and any additional expense for NASA to verify that the vehicle meets requirements will be incurred by the PAM Provider.

5) Question: If SpaceX chooses not to engage with anyone on the procurement of a ride other than their already announced agreement and Boeing doesn't have a certified vehicle available, how would you suggest anyone other than Axiom propose to this NRA [NASA Research Announcement]?

Answer: NASA cannot address any questions associated with proposal partnerships or competition sensitive data. Proposals will be evaluated based on capability to meet requirements as outlined in the NRA solicitation. For any areas that are still in work, proposers should outline their future plans to meet requirements.

https://sam.gov/opp/fa0c2d4dafb14f8088b9533a0ee78cd0/view

It seems from the text of question 4 that SpaceX has an exclusive deal with Axiom for private astronaut missions to the ISS.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 04/27/2022 04:20 pm
Axiom has already won the award for this solicitation (i.e., the Axiom-2 mission) but seeing who the interested parties were for this private astronaut mission is still interesting:

Quote from: interested party
Ecology Mir Group
Axiom Space
Sierra Space
STAR HARBOR Space Academy
Nanoracks
SpaceX
Adeco LLC
Space Hero
Shuttle.io
Ecoatoms
KBR
Blue Origin
MAXAR
Aurora Flight Sciences
Space Adventures
Space.com
Boeing

https://www.nasa.gov/jsc/procurement/pams
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Arb on 04/27/2022 05:17 pm
...
It seems from the text of question 4 that SpaceX has an exclusive deal with Axiom for private astronaut missions to the ISS.
The other way of reading it is that SpaceX has indeed chosen not to engage with at least one of the listed interested parties (as they did recently with an aggregator for Transporter flights).  Might be interesting to speculate on which and why.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 04/29/2022 02:45 pm
Emirati astronaut set for six-month mission to International Space Station:
https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/science/2022/04/29/emirati-astronaut-set-for-six-month-mission-to-international-space-station/

https://twitter.com/SarwatNasir/status/1519978176545492997

https://twitter.com/SarwatNasir/status/1519980493458055168
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 04/29/2022 02:57 pm
I will add my comment to this news. This is a big deal. It shows again that there is indeed a commercial market for space. Congrats to the UAE and Axiom! Hopefully, other countries will follow! Very exciting news!
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/29/2022 03:24 pm
I will add my comment to this news. This is a big deal. It shows again that there is indeed a commercial market for space. Congrats to the UAE and Axiom! Hopefully, other countries will follow! Very exciting news!
And it also shows there's no sharp line between "space tourism" and "legit astronaut." This UAE astronaut is procuring services as if a "space tourist" but is doing everything that a "legit astronaut" would do. The first Axiom mission to ISS on Dragon was full of private "space tourists," but again, they did almost identical work as the national astronauts do.

My comment is partly in response to this:
Jebbo sorry but in my opinion you are looking at the wrong thing. You look at sleeping quarters, while the thing you have to look at is ECLSS systems capability. To show you graphically I've updated the system rack topology.
You only looked at the orange racks, direct crew utility racks like the crew quarters, CASA, Galley rack, T2 treadmill and most likely the lavatory (WHC).
What you're overlooking is all the green and blue racks. This is what is limiting the ISS crew for longtherm at 7 astronauts. I don't have the full picture of the ECLSS system capabilities. I expect Water recovery is the most limiting.

Indeed the Axiom Hab modules will provide all facilities for four crew members. So they require:
- 4x Crew quarter
- Lavatory
- most likely another Galley
- a OGS (Oxygen Generation System)
- a CO2 scrubber / ARS (Air Revitalization System) [also humidity control / water condenser]
- a TCS (Thermal Control System)
- most likely a water recovery system
As a result of all these required systems, these modules can only accommodate the equivalence of two ISPR/ER-xB (Basic Express Racks) for science.

I think the important thing to do in the ISS is micro gravity research/science/production. Not accommodating for as many as possible visiting and micro-G ruining astronauts/tourists.
In my opinion space tourism and microG science can't be combined in the same station.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/29/2022 04:01 pm
Either Dragon has 5th seat or NASA is giving up one of their seats.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 04/29/2022 04:04 pm
Either Dragon has 5th seat or NASA is giving up one of their seats.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Axiom gave NASA a Soyuz seat in 2021 (that Axiom had purchased from the Russians) in exchange for a crew 6 seat. 

Quote from: the article
This is the Falcon 9 seat that Axiom Space got in exchange from Nasa, after the company gave up its Russian Soyuz rocket seat for American astronaut, Mark Vande Hei, in 2021.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/science/2022/04/29/emirati-astronaut-set-for-six-month-mission-to-international-space-station/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/29/2022 08:02 pm
So in a way Axiom are taking Cosmonaut's place on ISS.

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Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: gemmy0I on 04/30/2022 12:41 am
So in a way Axiom are taking Cosmonaut's place on ISS.
Actually, it is a US astronaut seat that Axiom is taking. Essentially, NASA traded a US astronaut seat on Crew-6 for a Soyuz seat (Vande Hei's) much earlier. This provided them with extra insurance to have a US astronaut on station at all times if Crew Dragon's first operational mission was delayed past the completion of the last Soyuz seat obtained through the old arrangement (purchased through Boeing as part of the Sea Launch deal). But in exchange, they gave up one crew spot on a future expedition.

Basically, you can think of it as Vande Hei having been "assigned" the Crew-6 seat, and having just taken his flight really early. :)

In the end, it looks like NASA got a great deal that was better than the sum of its parts. In exchange for giving up a Crew-6 expedition member for the usual 180-day duration, they got an extra expedition member to get work done earlier, whose mission ended up getting doubled to nearly a year due to the crew logistics surrounding the Russian movie filming (which NASA was happy to take since it meant getting more "mileage" out of their seat swap). And as for Crew-6, even though NASA will be down a US crew member, the UAE astronaut who's flying instead will be serving as a full-time station participant, meaning that a lot of the same work on-station will still get done (just not by NASA) that would've otherwise been done by the US crew member who got "bumped".

I wouldn't be surprised if NASA and Axiom knew the whole time that the plan was for the UAE to buy this seat from Axiom, but they held off on announcing it until now to avoid jumping the gun before Axiom had solidified its reputation with a successful first mission.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: jmt27 on 04/30/2022 01:00 am
So in a way Axiom are taking Cosmonaut's place on ISS.
Actually, it is a US astronaut seat that Axiom is taking. Essentially, NASA traded a US astronaut seat on Crew-6 for a Soyuz seat (Vande Hei's) much earlier. This provided them with extra insurance to have a US astronaut on station at all times if Crew Dragon's first operational mission was delayed past the completion of the last Soyuz seat obtained through the old arrangement (purchased through Boeing as part of the Sea Launch deal). But in exchange, they gave up one crew spot on a future expedition.

Basically, you can think of it as Vande Hei having been "assigned" the Crew-6 seat, and having just taken his flight really early. :)

In the end, it looks like NASA got a great deal that was better than the sum of its parts. In exchange for giving up a Crew-6 expedition member for the usual 180-day duration, they got an extra expedition member to get work done earlier, whose mission ended up getting doubled to nearly a year due to the crew logistics surrounding the Russian movie filming (which NASA was happy to take since it meant getting more "mileage" out of their seat swap). And as for Crew-6, even though NASA will be down a US crew member, the UAE astronaut who's flying instead will be serving as a full-time station participant, meaning that a lot of the same work on-station will still get done (just not by NASA) that would've otherwise been done by the US crew member who got "bumped".

I wouldn't be surprised if NASA and Axiom knew the whole time that the plan was for the UAE to buy this seat from Axiom, but they held off on announcing it until now to avoid jumping the gun before Axiom had solidified its reputation with a successful first mission.

Oh, so right now Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg are assigned to Crew-6 but you're saying that one of them (presumably Hoburg) would lose their seat ?
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 04/30/2022 01:20 am
So in a way Axiom are taking Cosmonaut's place on ISS.
Actually, it is a US astronaut seat that Axiom is taking. Essentially, NASA traded a US astronaut seat on Crew-6 for a Soyuz seat (Vande Hei's) much earlier. This provided them with extra insurance to have a US astronaut on station at all times if Crew Dragon's first operational mission was delayed past the completion of the last Soyuz seat obtained through the old arrangement (purchased through Boeing as part of the Sea Launch deal). But in exchange, they gave up one crew spot on a future expedition.

Basically, you can think of it as Vande Hei having been "assigned" the Crew-6 seat, and having just taken his flight really early. :)

In the end, it looks like NASA got a great deal that was better than the sum of its parts. In exchange for giving up a Crew-6 expedition member for the usual 180-day duration, they got an extra expedition member to get work done earlier, whose mission ended up getting doubled to nearly a year due to the crew logistics surrounding the Russian movie filming (which NASA was happy to take since it meant getting more "mileage" out of their seat swap). And as for Crew-6, even though NASA will be down a US crew member, the UAE astronaut who's flying instead will be serving as a full-time station participant, meaning that a lot of the same work on-station will still get done (just not by NASA) that would've otherwise been done by the US crew member who got "bumped".

I wouldn't be surprised if NASA and Axiom knew the whole time that the plan was for the UAE to buy this seat from Axiom, but they held off on announcing it until now to avoid jumping the gun before Axiom had solidified its reputation with a successful first mission.

Oh, so right now Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg are assigned to Crew-6 but you're saying that one of them (presumably Hoburg) would lose their seat ?

There is 4 seats. I don't think that anybody is losing a seat.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: gemmy0I on 04/30/2022 04:36 am
Oh, so right now Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg are assigned to Crew-6 but you're saying that one of them (presumably Hoburg) would lose their seat ?

There is 4 seats. I don't think that anybody is losing a seat.
It will likely depend on whether or not the NASA/Roscosmos crew swap arrangement goes through as hoped. If it does, then the "standard" Dragon loadout going forward will be 2x NASA crew, 1x ESA/JAXA/CSA, and 1x Roscosmos, with an additional NASA expedition member flying on Soyuz. So for NASA to give up one of its seats to the UAE by way of Axiom, one of their two crew would either have to switch to training for Soyuz, or get bumped to a future expedition.

If one of them is moved to Soyuz, we'll likely see him heading to Moscow relatively soon to start training, as (from what I've gathered) NASA astronauts are typically prepared for that role by first being assigned as NASA's liaison-in-residence in Moscow for a term. If we don't see Bowen or Hoburg make such a move relatively soon, they're probably staying on Dragon (with someone else picked for the prospective Soyuz seat), which means one of them will have to get bumped to Crew-7.

Of course, it's also possible that the Soyuz/Dragon swap will be further delayed. (Roscosmos has been dragging its feet on this since well before the Ukraine crisis went hot, so one has to wonder if they have internal reasons for not wanting it to go forward.) If that's the case, then the UAE astronaut could take the cosmonaut's place and not have to bump anyone else. (The one "bumped" would instead be whoever NASA has assigned to train for Soyuz.)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 04/30/2022 10:52 am
As far as I understand the ISS situation from now until 2024, the end of the current agreement. ISS-expeditions are made of 4 USA-segment crew members and 3 Russian-segment crew members. The addition of MLM allowed one additional crew member on the Russian side of the station.
Vande Hei was allocated to the Russian-segment crew members, so the US-side operated with five instead of four crew members when he was onboard the ISS. This means more work hours per week on the USA side.
I haven't read to which crew side the UAE astronaut will be allocated.
Is percurrent of a 6-month expedition seat for a national astronaut commercial or institutional?

The whole ISS project would benefit if the Russian crewmembers perform more work on the US-side. There is far more scientific equipment and work to be done on the USA compared to the Russian side. But getting this arranged means that they have to manoeuvre trough a political minefield, with the current Russia/Ukraine + NATO situation.

The crew member swop means on a US-crewed visiting vehicle on of the Russian crew members is launched in stead of the 4th USA-crew member. The seat for the Russian crew member on the Soyuz will be used by the Russian crew member. This is useful if something goes wrong with a crew visiting vehicle, there is still one crew member that used the other crew launch system onboard to keep the ISS-system operational.
It still could be that the UAE astronaut will use the 'Russian seat, and a Russian crew member's spot. While the 4th US-segment crew member will be launched by a Soyuz (Russian crew visiting vehicle).
We don't have the details of the deal jet.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 08/02/2022 02:32 pm
https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1554458794763108354

Here is the link to the updates in the requirements:
https://sam.gov/opp/23b1521f8c154f1caa2f3b2b0e551f28/view
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 08/16/2022 11:51 am
Source Selection Statements for Private Astronaut Missions PAM 2 and PAM 3 have been posted by NASA.

Private Astronaut Mission Flight Opportunities
https://sam.gov/opp/1427b726890d4eeeaa397d27cc02ef4e/view (https://sam.gov/opp/1427b726890d4eeeaa397d27cc02ef4e/view)

PAM 2 is for a flight opportunity between fall of 2022 and mid-2023.  Only one company, Axiom Space, submitted a proposal which was rated "good" and therefore they were selected for an award of PAM 2.

PAM 3 is for a flight opportunity between mid-2023 and the end of 2023.  Two companies submitted proposals: Axiom Space and Shuttle IO Technologies.  Proposals from both companies were rejected and both with the comment: "Due to the overwhelming weaknesses in merit and supportability, I agreed with the PEP on the overall rating of “Poor” and find them unselectable."

[note: PEP is Private Astronaut Mission (PAM) Evaluation Panel]

Both source selection statements are attached.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: gemmy0I on 08/16/2022 10:17 pm
PAM 3 is for a flight opportunity between mid-2023 and the end of 2023.  Two companies submitted proposals: Axiom Space and Shuttle IO Technologies.  Proposals from both companies were rejected and both with the comment: "Due to the overwhelming weaknesses in merit and supportability, I agreed with the PEP on the overall rating of “Poor” and find them unselectable."
It looks like the Axiom proposal that got rejected for PAM 3 was (most likely) the oft-mooted Tom Cruise movie project. They attempted to redact the details of the mission in most of the document, but neglected to redact one of the sentences on page 14:

Quote from: PAM 3 source selection document
I found strength in the description of the Axiom team mission and the role of PAMs to stimulate demand through entertainment activities, which demonstrates a thorough understanding of what is required to enable a broad LEO marketplace.

The word "entertainment" (my bold added above) was redacted when this same phrase was first stated earlier on page 9, but not on page 14.

It seems that Axiom attempted to propose both a primary mission (the "entertainment" project) and an alternate one for PAM 3 "in the event interest is not sufficient to proceed with this mission" - indicating that they were well aware the entertainment project was light on details at this point in time and stood a high chance of getting rejected on that basis. However, the source selection officer determined that this was a backdoor attempt at an "alternate proposal", which was expressly prohibited in the rules: applicants were required to choose just one mission proposal to submit for each of the two PAMs (2 and 3). As such, the "alternate proposal" was categorically not considered, although the wording seems to suggest that its mission plan was much more detailed and would likely have been considered high-quality enough to be selected if not for this technicality.

My guess is that Axiom will try again either with the "alternate proposal" in the upcoming next round of proposal opportunities for PAM 3, or perhaps try to nail down the details of the Cruise mission better to make it acceptable to NASA.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 08/20/2022 05:33 pm
Here are some of the highlights from the PAM2 source selection statement:

Quote from: page 7 of the PAM2 source selection statement
The proposal received three weaknesses related to insufficient data associated with plans for an a [redacted] and details associated with their proposed research and outreach activities.

I am guessing that the redacted word in this sentence is EVA. I remember NASA saying that it hadn't finalized its policy in respect of EVAs for private missions at one of the Axiom press conferences. It seems that Axiom was encouraged to remove this [EVA] activity from its proposal:

Quote from: page 9
[...] discussions were required to address a mission activity proposed by Axiom for which NASA policy decisions are currently in work and which could impact that activity. As a result of those discussions, Axiom submitted a proposal revision removing that activity.

Quote from: page 11
I also took into consideration the discussions held between the contracting officer and Axiom (discussed above). I noted the proposal revision submitted by Axiom and agreed with the PEP the proposal no longer contained a provision which is still pending a NASA policy decision. Based on this revision, I found the Axiom proposal could be selected for contract negotiation.

NASA is still not happy about what happened on the first mission (too many activities on ISS were planned during the time that the private astronauts had on the ISS)...

Quote from: page 8
Axiom received a weakness due to the broad range of research, and utilization and outreach objectives which are not achievable in the specified timeframe for their proposed mission and as outlined in their proposed integrated schedule.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 08/20/2022 06:26 pm
Here are some of the highlights from the PAM3 Source Selection Statement.

Not really surprising but Axiom had a commitment from SpaceX to be a subcontractor for PAM3:

Quote from: page 8 of the PAM3 Source Selection Statement
In addition, Axiom received a strength based on their proposal containing a letter of commitment with a vehicle provider that has a demonstrated performance of flying astronauts to and from the ISS, and meets ISS interface requirements which increases the likelihood of their executing a safe and successful mission as proposed.

In case there was any doubt, NASA called Axiom's proposed PAM3 mission, the proposed movie mission (obviously referring to Tom Cruise's movie project as mentioned by gemmy0I above):

Quote from: page 14
I assessed the Relevance of the Axiom proposal as stated in the NRA focus area 4A. I found strength in the description of the Axiom team mission and the role of PAMs to stimulate demand through entertainment activities, which demonstrates a thorough understanding of what is required to enable a broad LEO marketplace. This is consistent with NASA's commercialization strategy, as well as findings from internal studies outlining potential commercial markets for the ISS. This provides confidence that the proposal will contribute to NASA's mission to broaden and expand the low Earth orbit commercial market. However, the Strength was somewhat offset by the lack of information or description which did not allow for an assessment of the potential contribution to NASA's mission and the objective of successfully executing a private astronaut mission. Additionally, without any detail, I could not assess whether the proposed movie mission would reflect poorly on NASA, ISS partners, or related entities. Overall, I agreed with the PEP and found the Axiom proposal had “good” relevance.

As mentioned by gemmy0I above, the alternate mission (if the movie project didn't proceed) was indeed not evaluated:

Quote from: page 13
[H]owever, I did not evaluate that alternative mission proposal due to the requirements laid out in Focus Area 4A.1 of the NRA stating "Proposers will be allowed to submit up to two (2) proposals for this solicitation, one (1) per flight opportunity." (e.g. one for PAM 2 and one for PAM 3). Given this limitation in the NRA, neither I nor the PEP were able to evaluate what would essentially be a second alternative Axiom proposal for PAM 3. Any implied information associated with the administration’s position or other data not received as part of this proposal could not be used in any assessment by the PEP or myself.

Given that no awards were made for PAM3, a new solicitation for PAM3 will be announced in the future:

Quote from: page 11
Follow on solicitations for the PAM 3 opportunity will be announced in the future.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/06/2022 04:10 pm
NASA, Axiom Sign Second Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station Order:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-axiom-sign-second-private-astronaut-mission-to-space-station-order
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/14/2022 03:35 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/leo-economy/nasa-wants-to-open-space-to-more-people-supports-private-missions/

Quote
Sep 14, 2022
NASA Wants to Open Space to More People, Supports Private Missions

NASA is seeking proposals for two new private astronaut missions to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s efforts to open space to more people than ever before. With these opportunities, U.S. commercial companies will continue to play an essential role in establishing a sustained presence in low-Earth orbit (LEO) through the agency’s Commercial LEO Development Program.

The targeted flight opportunities will occur between late 2023 and 2024.

A private astronaut mission involves U.S. commercial spacecraft transporting private astronauts to the space station, where they conduct activities aboard the orbiting laboratory or a commercial structure attached to it. NASA is enabling up to two short-duration private astronaut missions per year.

“We are truly in an exciting era, witnessing a significant increase in access to space and expansion of the commercial marketplace in low-Earth orbit,” said Angela Hart, manager of the Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “We recognize the importance of NASA’s continued support, and are dedicated to working with industry to identify areas where our expertise and unique capabilities support expansion, as with private astronaut missions. These provide a unique opportunity for industry to gain critical experience needed to select, train, and manage crews on future commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, as well as work with new science partners, future commercial partners and grow this non-traditional market.”

The new targeted flight opportunities will be the third and fourth private astronaut missions to the International Space Station coordinated by NASA. The first mission was accomplished by Axiom Space in April 2022. Axiom Space was also selected by NASA for the second private astronaut mission, scheduled for the second quarter of 2023.

Each of the new missions may be up to 14 days while docked to the space station. Specific dates are dependent on spacecraft traffic to the space station and in-orbit activity planning and constraints. Private astronaut missions must be brokered by a U.S. entity and use U.S. transportation spacecraft that meet NASA’s International Space Station visiting vehicle requirements, policies, and procedures. Refer to Focus Area 4A of NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NNJ13ZBG001N for additional details.

Enabling private astronaut missions to the International Space Station is part of the agency's goal to develop a robust low-Earth orbit economy where NASA is one of many customers, and the private sector leads the way. This strategy will provide services the government needs at a lower cost, enabling the agency to focus on its Artemis missions to the Moon ahead of human missions to Mars, while continuing to use low-Earth orbit as a training and proving ground for deep space exploration.

Proposals are due at 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 27, 2022. NASA will host a pre-proposal conference to address questions related to the solicitation at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. To confirm attendance, please email Kelly Rubio at [email protected] no later than 4 p.m. Sept. 15, 2022.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: butters on 09/15/2022 06:48 pm
NASA is now saying that private astronaut EVAs at the ISS will not be permitted. Hurray for ISS commercialization! I guess Axiom will have to find retired NASA astronauts to test their Artemis spacesuits. Or maybe conduct the spacesuit tests from a free-flying Dragon. Or just wing it and have the Artemis 3 crew try them out in space for the first time on the Moon. It's not like we've heard anything substantial from NASA about spacesuit testing. Seems like a bunch of sour grapes Polaris envy.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/15/2022 07:15 pm
NASA is now saying that private astronaut EVAs at the ISS will not be permitted. Hurray for ISS commercialization! I guess Axiom will have to find retired NASA astronauts to test their Artemis spacesuits. Or maybe conduct the spacesuit tests from a free-flying Dragon. Or just wing it and have the Artemis 3 crew try them out in space for the first time on the Moon. It's not like we've heard anything substantial from NASA about spacesuit testing. Seems like a bunch of sour grapes Polaris envy.
That’s nuts and totally inconsistent with desire to make ISS more commercial. Do you have a link? It does seem like NASA is kind of going in two directions at once… announcing initiatives to expand private spaceflight and then the next week announcing some new restriction that reduces private space cooperation. What is even going no, here?

A side note, but I’m often kind of frustrated that any non-government human spaceflight is couched in mercantilist/commercialist language. Like, maybe there are non-profits or other organizations that would like to pursue spaceflight? Maybe people want to enable human spaceflight without just trying to earn money as the ultimate end-goal?

Wish NASA would improve the language there.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: whitelancer64 on 09/15/2022 07:37 pm
NASA is now saying that private astronaut EVAs at the ISS will not be permitted. Hurray for ISS commercialization! I guess Axiom will have to find retired NASA astronauts to test their Artemis spacesuits. Or maybe conduct the spacesuit tests from a free-flying Dragon. Or just wing it and have the Artemis 3 crew try them out in space for the first time on the Moon. It's not like we've heard anything substantial from NASA about spacesuit testing. Seems like a bunch of sour grapes Polaris envy.

Citation needed for NASA not allowing private astronaut EVAs. A quick google search doesn't provide any corroboration.

WRT Axiom spacesuit testing, NASA would just fly one up on a cargo flight and have their astronauts on board the ISS test them out. That was the plan before NASA farmed out the spacesuits to commercial providers, and is still the notional plan, as far as I know.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: whitelancer64 on 09/15/2022 09:15 pm

I found a brief mention here: https://spacenews.com/nasa-requests-proposals-for-two-iss-private-astronaut-missions/

"NASA also noted in the procurement that proposed missions seeking to conduct a spacewalk by private astronauts “will not be considered allowable.” It’s unclear if any companies were actively considering spacewalks on private missions."

This is specifically about the PAM 3 and 4 solicitation for 2023 and 2024. It is not a general prohibition on spacewalk proposals for all future private astronaut missions.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Tomness on 09/15/2022 10:00 pm

I found a brief mention here: https://spacenews.com/nasa-requests-proposals-for-two-iss-private-astronaut-missions/

"NASA also noted in the procurement that proposed missions seeking to conduct a spacewalk by private astronauts “will not be considered allowable.” It’s unclear if any companies were actively considering spacewalks on private missions."

This is specifically about the PAM 3 and 4 solicitation for 2023 and 2024. It is not a general prohibition on spacewalk proposals for all future private astronaut missions.

Pretty much bared by NASA for ISS, So Axiom and who ever will have to do it on their own stations.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 09/15/2022 10:38 pm
NASA is now saying that private astronaut EVAs at the ISS will not be permitted. Hurray for ISS commercialization! I guess Axiom will have to find retired NASA astronauts to test their Artemis spacesuits. Or maybe conduct the spacesuit tests from a free-flying Dragon. Or just wing it and have the Artemis 3 crew try them out in space for the first time on the Moon. It's not like we've heard anything substantial from NASA about spacesuit testing. Seems like a bunch of sour grapes Polaris envy.

Citation needed for NASA not allowing private astronaut EVAs. A quick google search doesn't provide any corroboration.
[...]

NASA posted an updated version of the "Research Opportunities for ISS Utilization" yesterday

(see this nspires link (https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary!init.do?solId={21E0270C-BC1F-EFC4-3D87-30713B5FF373}&path=open) for the link to the document]

PAM 3 & 4 announcement made at https://sam.gov/opp/afa5ea56ad064f1e8c81bbd817a65144/view (https://sam.gov/opp/afa5ea56ad064f1e8c81bbd817a65144/view)

On page 31 of the new document:

Focus Area 4A.1 – Solicitation for Private Astronaut Missions’ Provider for Flight Opportunity

NASA is soliciting proposals for Phase II of Focus Area 4A for the following flight opportunities:

- “PAM 3”: expected launch window of NET late 2023 through mid-2024
- “PAM 4”: expected launch window of NET mid 2024 through end of 2024

The maximum number of private astronauts per mission shall not exceed four (4), and the maximum planned docked duration shall not exceed fourteen (14) days. Mission concepts which include Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) performed by the Private Astronauts will not be considered allowable.


Copy of updated NASA Research Announcement (NRA) attached.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/15/2022 10:39 pm
As I indicated in the post linked below, it's possible that Axiom's proposal for PAM-2 proposed an EVA and that NASA refused that part of their proposal (i.e., Axiom had to withdraw it):
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48301.msg2398318#msg2398318

NASA said in the Ax-1 Prelaunch Press Conference below that they weren't ready to allow EVAs on ISS private astronaut missions for now and they explained why. It's at 57 minutes of this video (the best questions are often last):

https://youtu.be/4mB8U1xEoO8
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: AnalogMan on 09/19/2022 11:57 pm
NASA posted presentation slides from the PAM 3 & 4 pre-proposal conference today, along with a short Q&A document (copies attached)

Private Astronaut Mission Flight Opportunities for 2023 and 2024
Notice ID: 80JSC022PAM2023and2024
Updated: Sep 19, 2022

https://sam.gov/opp/99d3383562b4496781c8eadf6408ee9a/view

(probably little that we didn't know already)

Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/20/2022 12:36 am
As I indicated in the post linked below, it's possible that Axiom's proposal for PAM-2 proposed an EVA and that NASA refused that part of their proposal (i.e., Axiom had to withdraw it):
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48301.msg2398318#msg2398318

NASA said in the Ax-1 Prelaunch Press Conference below that they weren't ready to allow EVAs on ISS private astronaut missions for now and they explained why. It's at 57 minutes of this video (the best questions are often last):

https://youtu.be/4mB8U1xEoO8
I believe this is different from the current explanation.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/20/2022 01:17 pm
Is there any place I can watch or listen to the pre-solicitation conference that happened on the 16th of September?
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/20/2022 01:32 pm
Is there any place I can watch or listen to the pre-solicitation conference that happened on the 16th of September?

It's not public but the slides are available here (attached).
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/20/2022 01:34 pm
A Q&A was also posted yesterday (attached).
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/22/2022 02:44 pm
Emirati astronaut set for six-month mission to International Space Station:
https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/science/2022/04/29/emirati-astronaut-set-for-six-month-mission-to-international-space-station/

This has probably been posted elsewhere but the astronaut for the 6 month UAE mission was selected in late July (the UAE is paying Axiom for a seat on SpaceX Crew-6):

https://twitter.com/SarwatNasir/status/1551524370429919232
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/22/2022 02:47 pm
Turkey will send its first astronaut to space through a private Axiom mission:

https://twitter.com/SarwatNasir/status/1571862393981992962
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/22/2022 02:56 pm
Both the UAE and the Turkey astronauts missions are important as they show that there is a market for foreign government customers. Bigelow had claimed years ago that there was many foreign countries interested in going to space through commercial ventures and he is now being proven right by these missions. It's unfortunate that Bigelow isn't involved in these private missions but Axiom has filled the void left by Bigelow's exit from this business. However, I wish that Axiom had a competitor.
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 09/23/2022 01:40 am
https://twitter.com/Axiom_Space/status/1572978399705980928

https://twitter.com/SarwatNasir/status/1573057814314078210
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/08/2022 11:35 am
Axiom-1’s Commander on ISS commercialisation:

twitter.com/commandermla/status/1578402760646696961

Quote
I understand selling access to the #ISS is anathema to many, it is an imperative step toward building the demand that commercial platform providers need to close their business case. (1/2)

https://twitter.com/commandermla/status/1578402762471112705

Quote
Otherwise the enterprise will fail and our access to low Earth orbit, and all the opportunities to be found there, will end with it. (2/2)
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 10/12/2022 03:25 pm
Tom Cruise plans to film a movie in space — and could be the first civilian to do a spacewalk:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tom-cruise-film-movie-in-space/
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 10/12/2022 03:38 pm
Tom Cruise plans to film a movie in space — and could be the first civilian to do a spacewalk:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tom-cruise-film-movie-in-space/

Commenting on my own post. It seems that for now, private astronaut spacewalks at the ISS aren't allowed. However, a private astronaut could do a spacewalk prior to getting to the ISS (similar to the spacewalk on the Polaris 1 mission). It seems that private astronaut spacewalk may have to wait for the Axiom spacesuits and habitat to be ready. 
Title: Re: NASA ISS Commercialization
Post by: yg1968 on 11/01/2022 04:21 pm
Quote from: Jeff Foust
NASA confirms that the two people yet to be named on the upcoming Ax-2 private astronaut mission will be from Saudi Arabia. Names not released, but it appears they have already been selected and have started training.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1587450126758445056