Michelle Murray of the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation office addresses representatives of aerospace firms during a Flight Opportunities Program Industry Day at NASA Dryden Jan. 25. (NASA photo / Tom Tschida) Representatives of more than 20 aerospace firms both large and small met with officials of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Jan. 25 during an Industry Day meeting for potential providers of sub-orbital reusable launch vehicle and payload integration services.
Discussions focused on NASA's interest in acquiring commercial flight and payload integration services for NASA-provided technology payloads on sub-orbital reusable space launch vehicles, as reflected in a recent NASA Request For Information submitted to potential commercial providers.
During the morning sessions, Steve Meier, director of the Cross-Cutting Demonstrations Division of NASA's Office of Chief Technologist, stressed the partnership approach that NASA is seeking with commercial launch vehicle firms, while Michelle Murray of the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation outlined the FAA's licensing and commercial launch approval process.
During the afternoon, representatives of sub-orbital space-access vehicle firms and those representing payload-integration providers discussed their respective relationships, followed by one-on-one private meetings with NASA Flight Opportunities Program officials.
NASA's Flight Opportunities Program is managed at the Dryden Flight Research Center for the agency's Office of Chief Technologist. It currently incorporates two projects – Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research, or CRuSR, and the Facilitated Access to the Space Environment for Technology and Training, or FAST.
CRuSR is intended to foster the development of the commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry by competitively securing commercial suborbital flight services for experiment payloads that can provide access to 3 to 4 minutes of microgravity for discovery and testing, along with routine recovery of payloads.
FAST focuses on testing technologies on parabolic aircraft flights that can simulate microgravity and the reduced gravity environments of the Moon or Mars by providing up to 25 seconds of microgravity for discovery and testing.
For more information about NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, visit http://flightopportunities.nasa.gov .