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  • Status of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Initiative

    Paper number



    Mr. Alan Lindenmoyer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/Johnson Space Center, United States


    Mr. Dennis Stone, World Space Week Association, United States



    To stimulate the commercial space transportation industry, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is facilitating the demonstration of Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by private-sector companies.  In 2006, NASA entered into funded agreements with two such companies to share NASA’s USD 500,000,000 investment, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Rocketplane Kistler (RpK), each of which proposed to obtain the additional private financing needed to complete its flight demonstrations.  In 2007, NASA terminated the agreement with RpK because it failed to meet a series of technical and financial milestones which were necessary to receive the incremental NASA payments.  In 2008, NASA conducted another competition for the remaining USD 170,000,000 of NASA funding and entered into a funded agreement with Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC).  This paper provides an overview of the COTS approach of SpaceX and OSC and the status of their efforts to develop reliable and cost-effective commercial transportation to serve the LEO marketplace.
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-08.D2.2.1.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.