It has been revealed that back in 2020, the International Space Station completed two decades for which the astronauts have boarded the station. This information has been shared by NASA as it marks an achievement for the space programs that are running all over the world.
However, with time, the International Space Station is aging and the equipment and tools on the station are getting old. Although the space administrations have been doing whatever they can to keep the International Space Station up and running, yet it is closing its demise.
This is the reason why the space administration (NASA) is now turning to private companies in order for them to come up with a solution. As per reports, NASA is now looking for private companies that would be able to design and lunch new space stations. The space administration has stated that these space stations will be international and will be flying freely in the lower orbit of Earth.
In order to make this thing possible, NASA has reportedly unveiled a new project, naming it the Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD). It has been confirmed that the CLD project is set to award up to $400 million with the aim to have the private firms develop space stations. NASA has revealed that the $400 million rewards will be given to 4 companies at max.
Whether it is a single project or a max of four, the $400 million amount will be distributed equally among them to work on the private space stations. NASA has confirmed that the $400 million amount will be allocated to the companies in the last quarter of the year 2021.
It has been reported that with the launch of the CLD project, NASA is aiming that its successful Commercial Crew and Commercial Cargo programs can be replicated.
For the completion of those programs, there were three companies that were designated with different tasks. These three companies were responsible for sending cargo to the space stations as well as doing the same for the astronauts.
Phil McAlister, who is the commercial LEO director of NASA shared what he thinks of the domain of low Earth orbit. As per McAlister, there are three main activities that the domain of low Earth orbit is responsible for. These three main activities include destinations, crew transportation, and cargo transportation.
He confirmed that NASA has now transferred the responsibilities of crew transportation and cargo transportation over to private companies. He confirmed that at present, NASA is paying Northrop Grumman and SpaceX to send cargo into the lower orbit. On the other hand, NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX to carry out launches for Astronauts.