NASA’s Commercial Space Station Competition

Last year NASA posted tenders for the expansion of commercial space stations. Some of the launch companies that submit their proposals are space x and relativity space. 

NASA selected proposals by Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, and Nanoracks. NASA will give the three companies combined a total of about $400 million through the next four years to complete the designs of space stations. 

NASA said they only received 11 proposals, although they declined to point out the other companies that placed their bids. 

“Almost all of the proposals represented viable concepts for commercial LEO destinations,” said Phil McAlister. 

NASA had different criteria, and after considering all their preferred criteria, they chose the three companies. Space X is among the company whose proposal was rejected.

NASA assessed the proposals’ business plans and technical approach and used colors to grade the submissions. Blue represented a very high score, green-high, white-moderate, yellow-low, and red-very low. 

According to NASA, the concept by space X had so many weaknesses because they failed to outline critical details about the idea. For example, the model was unable to answer “how it will accommodate payloads and scale up an environmental control system for long-duration missions.”

Three proposals from three different companies had red scores for both the business plan and technical approach.

Relativity’s chief executive, Tim Ellis, shared with Space News on January 31 about their plans. According to him, they have a “very early concept.” However, he did not share more details. 

“Just because we did not place in the top three selected for this program won’t deter us from continuing conversations with NASA leadership on Relativity’s future vision with a fully reusable Terran R,” he said.


John Taylor
John Taylor
John Taylor is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years of experience as a professional. He has written professionally for many different organizations, such as The Atlantic and the Boston Globe. John can write on any topic you need him to cover, from business writing to creative nonfiction pieces. His portfolio speaks for his skills; he's not only an experienced writer but also an excellent editor and researcher!


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