New Space Act deals

The latest on government cooperation with the commercial space transportation sector -- this club is getting bigger: NASA announced yesterday it has signed three new Space Act agreements with Constellation Services International, SpaceDev and SPACEHAB under which "NASA will share information that will help the companies understand projected requirements for International Space Station crew and cargo transportation launch vehicles, as well as spacecraft and NASA human rating criteria." Or if you prefer, here's the spin on the deals by SpaceDev (via Yahoo), SPACEHAB (via itself) and CSI (via HobbySpace). And for more background, here's a report from Space News (via Space.com).

Earlier this year NASA signed similar
agreements with t/Space and PlanetSpace.

Congrats, all.

(Of course, unlike the approximately $500 million in
COTS awards to SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler announced last summer, these agreements are unfunded, or to use the Space Act terminology, "nonreimbursable." As we know from reading the Space Act Agreements guide -- and who hasn't read this? -- "nonreimbursable" agreements cover "NASA and one or more Agreement Partners in a mutually beneficial activity that furthers the Agency's missions, wherein each party bears the cost of its participation and there is no exchange of funds between the parties. Since Nonreimbursable Agreements involve the commitment of NASA resources, the respective contributions of each Agreement Partner must be fair and reasonable under the circumstances." And this blog is not Space Accounting Probe but yes, NASA is required to come up with the "cost estimate of the value of the NASA resources to be committed" under these agreements; if you are interested in these estimates, ask NASA.)

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