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NASA And The Commercial Crew Expand the US Space Program

Updated on September 23, 2015

First All-Commercial Crew Mission Flies 2017

NASA began gathering together the Commercial Crew partners before the last US Shuttle flew in July 2011. NASA did this in order to expand resources and to fight federal funding cuts coming down from presidential administrations.

During Spring 2015, NASA was able to commission the first flight project manned completely by the Commercial Crew partners. Developing the attached mission will allow the flight to launch in 2017. It will fly from Florida's Space Coast up to the International Space Station.

The vehicle will be one of Boeing's CST-100s, built right at the Kennedy Space Center. It falls into the category of "Space Taxi", but is larger than the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo capsules and will carry five to seven people. It is one of the ships expected to replace the Russian Soyuz line in American space exploration and ISS supply missions.

Space is Open for Business


Mars Flight Laboratory, 2011 - Present

NASA engineer Gary Cosentino prepares the X-48B for flight. Researchers used the remotely piloted subscale X-48 hybrid/blended-wing-body (BWB) aircraft to explore concepts for cleaner, quieter commercial air travel.
NASA engineer Gary Cosentino prepares the X-48B for flight. Researchers used the remotely piloted subscale X-48 hybrid/blended-wing-body (BWB) aircraft to explore concepts for cleaner, quieter commercial air travel. | Source

We're Already There

NASA took a proactive stance toward partnerships with the private sector for future space exploration and commercial aerospace enterprises long before the final US Space Shuttle launch during Independence Week in July 2011. Almost before the Endeavour landed, contracts had been inked and space related projects given the green light.

Space Investment Summit 7 of September 30th, 2009

GOOGLE invested $30,000,000 for awards to private and public sector research and design teams inder its the LunarX Prize program in 2009. The goal was to have a number of Lunar Landers and Lunar robots up and running for launch in 2015. The goal was surpassed in 2012 when a launch date was set for early 2013.

Space Angels Network, September 2011

Space Angels Network, LLC is a nationwide American network of seed-capital and start-up investors. Their interest is aerospace ventures in partnership with other space related private and public entities, including NASA.‐

eSpace: The Center For Space Entrepreneurship in Boulder, Colorado announced a number of beginning aerospace partnerships during the same month. eSpace is a partnership between the University of Colorado, who has a top aerospace engineering department, and the privately held Sierra Nevada Space Systems. Time and again, public universities and local businesses have been working together to create jobs in America.

NASA Commercial Crew takes over ISS supplies and human transport - 2017.

Patrolling the skies with Japan - 2019.

NASA, early 2012 to 2022

NASA began aggressively to court businesses to rent some facilities still vacant after the end of the US Space Shuttle Program. The agency already had been partnering with private firms in aerospace and robotics endeavors for many years. It was time to strengthen partnerships with the private sector.

Huffington Post articles like that of 16-year-old Aaron Wang claiming the stagnation and stoppage of all Lunar based exploration and Mission to Mars projects are therefore incorrect. Mission to Mars has always been hallmarked with a 2030s deadline; as LunarX beats its deadlines, it brings America's Mission to Mars closer to fruition. The 2013 NASA Astronaut Class was chosen specifically for that long-term mission, but private astronauts are in training as well.

As for $300 Million being cut from NASA's Planetary Research Branch for fiscal 2013, it need not be a big obstacle. Already, it is only the difference between $1.5 Billion and $1.3 Billion. Having been involved in million- and billion-dollar grants, I view a $300 Million cut as not much a death knoll. SpaceX already developed two new rockets and a a new space capsule for under $300 Million, so why repeat that process within NASA? It is already done.

Moreover, Science does not need to inherently rely on government funding. Partnerships among entities in higher education, business and government work best and the huge Research Triangle region in North Carolina is proof of that. Ohio has an entire state quadrant developing from such partnerships in the Ohio Space Corridor.

Jerry Lewis brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the fight against Muscular Dystrophy from private funders and NASA can do the same, it it wishes to survive. This is a reason for the push to partner with private companies initiated before the end of the shuttle program. Besides, NASA is selling a new toy - the Star Trek® USS Enterprise Pizza Cutter. That should be good for a couple of billion dollars (true). reports "The decision [to scale back] is a response to diminished funding for robotic exploration going forward." However, LunarX is already picking up some of the robotic development slack, with other privately held companies to follow.

US Space Vehicles in 1997 - Plenty of Options

Notice the SPACE TAXI in the lower right hand corner. This was in 1997. In 2014, we have three private companies making space taxis.
Notice the SPACE TAXI in the lower right hand corner. This was in 1997. In 2014, we have three private companies making space taxis. | Source


NASA is scaling back on projects once covered by federal funding, but simultaneously increasing cooperation among itself, private businesses, individuals, and higher education institutions to not only step up the moon and Mars exploration projects, but also to mine the Asteroid Belt beyond and to create a generation of new jobs after 2035 in commercial aircraft and space craft as well as drone technologies.

The $300,000,000 budget cut for fiscal 2013 meant only the lack of funding to design, build and test a potentially over-the-top government flagship spacecraft to begin a fleet - like the Star Trek® NC-1701 Enterprise. However, other ships were already available in the private sector.

SpaceX has two types of vehicles in use for supplies and for people - they just don't look like Captain Kirk's USS Enterprise. Other private companies are developing their own craft as well.

The $1.3 Billion budget for 2013 could have been put to better use perhaps, while private companies work on a flagship as a government contractor project.

NASA still had its $2.5 Billion Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), with a new Martian Rover (Curiosity) in August 2012. It still had its $485 Mllion MAVEN launched in 2013 to the Martian Upper Atmosphere to look at the planet's climate history. Funding cuts were moot in the face of the 63-company private sector Commercial Crew that NASA gathered.

SpaceX developed another generation of spacecraft and Google LunarX landers are accumulating for launch to the moon. We are looking toward Mars with private-sector and higher education eyes.

Another NASA partnership is one with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) and a successful Japanese scientific instruments manufacturer.

NASA/JAXA Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar

Peter Hildebrand (NASA), Masahiro Kojima (JAXA) and Takeshi Miura (JAXA) in the clean room with the DPR.
Peter Hildebrand (NASA), Masahiro Kojima (JAXA) and Takeshi Miura (JAXA) in the clean room with the DPR. | Source

NASA Partners with the Japanese Space Agency

This Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar unit was designed and built by the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. It is the first of two instruments that will fly aboard NASA's Core Observatory for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission to be launched in Japan at the Tanegashima Space Center during February 2014.

Data collected during the mission will strengthen precipitation science, give insight into the Earth's water cycle, and help us maintain fresh water globally. America and Japan hope that it will provide tools for forecasting hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters that have hit hard in the 2010s.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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    • elijahtruth profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      I pray you do well Patty Inglish, I went by our sites this morning and took again notice of the pages and links I have made for Patty Inglish: Casts her Shadow over Earth and Nasa! Which can be found at the top of and many other sites of the waking ministry of Adam and Eve seed gathering Ministry a Word research Ministry of the Lord, He who brought forth the Heaven program as He prophesy He would do in Zechariah 5:2-4, the giant rolls/scroll going over the face of the earth/satellites, and speaking of the computer/television that would/does set in the midst of every home! Respect

    • elijahtruth profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      Well yesterday I added Patty Inglish to many of our sites, go to Adam and Eve in action blog spot, and the Links page at Adam and Eve seed gathering Ministry links page, and see the company you keep there, and also The Historian debate Symposium blog spot and the Messiahs gathering Quakes, and the blog spot of God's protein and Nutrients blog spot Go see if I tried to become to creative with your sites Name! Much respect Elijah paul Moses { if you do not like to lead into your site on any of them contact us on the main website, also have you on the Hub of The Lord's mystery is finished Rev:10:7 with the links to most of the sites just mentioned }

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you very much; your websites are different from many I've seen and make one think, certainly.

    • elijahtruth profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      You are an amazing Hubber I see, so my eye is keen as I stated your Hub/blog is very impressive award winning! I love the mysterious Mata Hari image casting a shadow over earth! I have taken your Hub link and will be putting it on as many of my sights as I can! We refer to Nasa quite often, so those we contact in Science around earth hopefully will examine your Hub! Much respect if you have any questions contact page or e-mail on the websites afore mentioned in previous comments! Respect

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Sure, I see no reason that you cannot use the link to my Hub or profile, either/or or both.

    • elijahtruth profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      Well Patty { sorry did not get your link from Hub until this day } The Space program is going a long way, when the Holyone Retakes earth! But the Russian Space station will now come down with meteor, by God's hand to show us, that man has not entered by His invitation! Him literally telling us biblical writings that we were not to shoot burning arrows into His Heaven/Shoot burning rockets shaped like arrows into His Heaven or He would come to destroy those who do without His invitation! Sounds strange, yet we prophesy the downing of the space shuttles to all washington and the elect of Church months before our Lord brought them down!

      For evidence of this go to the prophecy and the signs page on the Lord's website at Adam and Eve seed gathering Ministry or at the link at The Lord's mystery is finished Rev:10:7 Hub link in previous answers above!

      Also go to the Adam and Eve in Action blog spot also linked to the Hub mentioned and on that site are literal films of the Arch Angels of God preparing many things and waking those who sleep! Only as stated strangely our Lord prophesy the Heaven program, only He did not want all in Heaven, and He did not want man breaking the Gravitational pull of Earth! This shown in Zechariah 5:2-4, where our Lord showed unto Zechariah a scroll/roll going over the face of the earth, and gave the exact dimensions of the satellite shot into space by WHO? The Christian broadcasters, who did not even realize that they are the ones blasphemying God along with Atheists!

      Also speaks of the computer and television that would set in the midst of every home! And men would cuss/curse God from it/atheists! Examine wonderful Lady!

      Only again I tell you that what now comes to earth for those who can awake and believe, is amazing technology and programs! But the space program of the combined earths nations now ends, at least will be set way back by the hand of the Only God!

      Can we put your Link upon our sites, you being a daughter of the Only God means He knows all you do? Respect to Patty Inglish { examine the proof in the news page and Darwin page, and Adam the first researcher page on the main site, GO to the prophecy and the signs page to see when we write it happens, the signs on that page have been posted for over three years ago and more, and are the likes of Japan quake, Record storms and Virginia / Washington D.C. Quake and record disturbances on the Sun of late written years back, again Respect }

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Greeting's elijahtruth - Usually eb links in the comments are removed as spam by the computer system, but your two are interesting so far.

      How far do you think the space program will progress before it is stopped by God's plan of for us?

    • elijahtruth profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      Yes that is a real housewife, and she makes a good point! Yet I say again the nasa program pales in comparison with the Heaven program which now comes! Go to youtube and examine the signs and proofs given by the Commentor Elijah paul Moses he has many undeniable truths/evidences that will bring truth into your eye's of the epic day in which we live.... Respect

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Very interesting! I think the figures for funding are mind boggling. I guess for space exploration it really isn't much though. I don't see how we could ever stop researching though - I'm sure someone from a private sector would love to be a front runner in gathering funds for this type of thing. Voted up!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      8 years ago from Nepal

      Thanks for writing on this topic I love to read.

      This hub is very informative.

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 

      8 years ago from Lagos

      It's good, at least this will create room for more massive development. More of things like this needed, form public private partnerships for development.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      This is excellent news Patty. I've been concerned about the Space Program and its forward movement for a long time. Perhaps putting these endeavors into the private sector will bring about innovative change and progress. We can always hope so!

    • elijahtruth profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      { Patty if we may be allowed to put your Link on our sites please contact us at the main website of Adam and Eve seed gathering Ministry } Patty Inglish is an Amazing Daughter of the Only God, I love her Hub page here so professionally done, very impressive! The so called Space program as known by earths citizens will end in but a few years, by the Hand of God! Yet the marvels which come there after by God's Heaven program will be light years beyond Nasa's dubbed space program!

      To examine evidence of Science now having proved God's Word/finished His Mystery Rev:10:7 go to the HUB Page at and visit the Links given on that page to sites such as Adam and Eve seed gathering Ministry and on the Prophecy and the Signs page are the listed waking signs for waking and gathering which were prewritten over three years ago and more, and are now daily news such as the Japan quake, and tidal wave and the Virginia/Washington D.C. Quake and the Oklahoma quakes, as the record disturbances on the Sun's surface such as the record sun flare and the now record hurricane on the Suns surface the greatest ever witnessed by Science!

      Also go to the Adam and Eve in Action blog spot and therein view films of our Lord who hides no more! AS all the sites and links there in for gathering and waking... Much Respect ElijahTruth

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      8 years ago from England

      A very useful article. In reality no Governments can afford the bills for space exploration to go it alone. Partnerships and agencies joining together for greater mankind is the only way. I personally think the US needs a strong space exploration policy and getting funding from elsewhere sounds like the best way forward. Thanks for writing this, voted up.


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