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August 9, 2011

David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington

Leslie Williams
Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.

RELEASE 11-258
NASA Selects Seven Firms to Provide Near-Space Flight Services

Artist's concept of XCOR Lynx commercial suborbital reusable platformArtist's concept of XCOR Lynx WASHINGTON - NASA has selected seven companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space.

As part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, each successful vendor will receive an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. These two-year contracts, worth a combined total of $10 million, will allow NASA to draw from a pool of commercial space companies to deliver payload integration and flight services. The flights will carry a variety of payloads to help meet the agency's research and technology needs.

"Through this catalog approach, NASA is moving toward the goal of making frequent, low-cost access to near-space available to a wide range of engineers, scientists and technologists," said NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The government's ability to open the suborbital research frontier to a broad community of innovators will enable maturation of the new technologies and capabilities needed for NASA's future missions in space."
Artist's concept of Virgin Galactic commercial suborbital reusable platformArtist's concept of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo The selected companies are:

  • Armadillo Aerospace, Heath, Texas
  • Near Space Corp., Tillamook, Ore.
  • Masten Space Systems, Mojave, Calif.
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colo.
  • Virgin Galactic, Mojave, Calif.
  • Whittinghill Aerospace LLC, Camarillo, Calif.
  • XCOR, Mojave, Calif.

NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist is charged with maturing crosscutting technologies to flight readiness status for future space missions. Through these indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts, NASA intends to provide frequent flight opportunities for payloads on suborbital platforms.
The Flight Opportunities Program is managed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. For more information on the program, visit:

For more information about NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist, visit:


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