Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Cost of Commercial Space

Aviation Week reports that a recently released NASA report attempts to estimate the cost and demand for commercial crew flights.

Click here to read the report.

Reporter Frank Morring, Jr. writes:

Private space companies probably can expect at least 44 paying passengers for trips to orbit in the next 10 years, NASA has told Congress, but the price per seat could be higher than the U.S. government already is paying for rides on Russia’s Soyuz capsule.

The agency’s congressionally mandated assessment of the market for the commercial cargo and crew transport to low Earth orbit (LEO) — the centerpiece of U.S. space policy for the post-shuttle era — carries no cost estimates, and is based largely on extrapolated historical data and projections by two firms that aren’t directly involved in building the commercial systems NASA needs to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station.

The report's pending release last month created a firestorm because of its flawed methodology.

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