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22 February 2013 | Adam Leach
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is inviting expressions of interest from suppliers in order to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
This week NASA announced it has a requirement for a range of services related to transporting astronauts between earth and the ISS. These include training and training materials for the safe operation of vehicles, orbit docking services, consumables and life support systems and search and rescue services.
It explained in the short term, up to at least 2016, it will contract with the Russian space agency Roscomos for the services to ensure “a continued US presence aboard the ISS”. But in the longer term, once a US vehicle is available - expected to be in 2017 - it is looking for a supplier to deliver such services.
NASA called for interested companies to submit “their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort”. It added the government would decide whether to carry out a full and open competition once the proposals had been evaluated.