NASA is soliciting new suborbital flight services providers to join the agency’s Flight Opportunities Program, which connects vehicle operators with payload owners.
The solicitation has a base period of performance of two years, with three one-year options, and a total potential value of $45 million, NASA said in a March 25 press release.
The solicitation, which is open to rocket-powered vehicles, aircraft and high-altitude balloons, is open until May 8, NASA said.
There are currently eight vehicles approved to fly payloads as part of the Flight Opportunities Program, although only five of these are operational. Two of those, UP Aerospace’s SpaceLoft XL and Masten Space Systems’ Xaero, are rocket-powered craft. Only SpaceLoft XL is capable of reaching 100 kilometers in altitude, the internationally recognized boundary of space.
The other rocket-powered craft in the catalog is Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, which is slated to begin commercial space-tourism operations later this year.