Credit: NanoRacks

NanoRacks released today its NASA-funded Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Commercialization study.

The four-month long LEO Commercialization Study came out of the Administration and NASA’s efforts to understand the role of the private sector in creating a sustainable LEO marketplace, allowing NASA to focus its energies going forward to the Moon and onwards to Mars.

NanoRacks was one of 12 companies selected to participate in this study.

No station gap

“Today we are at the crux of defining the role of commercial space as we consider the eventual end of the International Space Station in order to assure there is no United States space station gap,” said Jeffrey Manber, CEO of NanoRacks, based in Webster, Texas.

“No one company is going to succeed on their own. Commercial space survives if we develop an ecosystem, full of multiple providers, a world-wide customer base, and government and regulatory support,” Manber said in a statement regarding their study.

Credit: NanoRacks

Space: viable location

Per the study: “The most important conclusion to come out of the data gathered through this LEO Commercialization Study is that there is no single point solution for the challenge of creating a commercial marketplace in space. Rather, an ecosystem of service providers, hardware manufacturers, and consumers (to include government customers) are required to make space a viable location for commercial activity.”

Also noted in the study: “NASA and the U.S. government should consider LEO activity a Public Private Partnership, or PPP. In such partnership, NASA and government agencies like the FCC retain important regulatory roles, as well as basic infrastructure maintenance, while largely leaving open room for commercial activity—of whatever nature—in LEO.”

Right balance

The right balance within a PPP, the study suggests, “would be one where NASA and the government make infrastructural investments that the private sector leverages with private capital, commercial rules, and commercial terms and conditions.”

To read this important study — Outpost: An In-Orbit Commercial Space Station Habitat Development Enabling Cost-Effective and Sustainable U.S. Presence in Low-Earth Orbit – go to:

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