NASA considering increased commercial use of International Space Station

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is coming up with new business ideas to make more commercial use of the International Space Station capabilities. The agency has asked the private sector to come up with more ideas to increase the commercial value of the orbiting lab.

In a press release, the agency asked the private outfits to come up with new ideas that even the researchers may not have imagined it. Also to take better advantage of the orbiting lab so that it can increase the commercial value of the ISS.

The station which came into existence in 1998 is the ideal location for scientists to conduct experiments in microgravity. The space station has not only helped scientists to explore the farthest space but also to do experiments looking on how microgravity affects the living mind. Other than this the government has used the International Space Station for multitude research projects.

Even though ISS has for long being known for serving the government in some of their famous experiment but lately NASA has been feeling the heat of government run projects. So it has asked the private sector to come and increase business activity on the orbiting lab.

The other important reason is that the agency is hopeful to get funds into microgravity research. It is hoping that the unique capabilities and opportunities of the space station which have things like unused attachment ports and trunnion pins give better investment ideas for commercial parties.

On talking about this latest move, William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate said –

In recent time we have realized that the industry is more innovative than we have imagined earlier. So we are asking the private sector to come up with better ideas to further grow the space station. I am now waiting eagerly for the industry to see their response to this unique opportunity.

In the current time, it’s reported that the space station holds over 300 active research experiments. It’s indicated that many private companies have been quietly soliciting new ideas since the start of July.

For now, the agency is looking for recommendation by the private sector on how to use the space station to its full capability. At the same time it is also looking forward to creating a self-sustaining marketplace in low-Earth orbit (LEO). One will have to wait to see how will NASA stop the space station from turning into a marketplace.

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