NASA aims for commercial support

by Chris Bergin

NASA has announced the formation of the Commercial Crew/Cargo Project Office to evaluate possibilities in private industry support for low-cost access to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the International Space Station (ISS).

The office will be looking into ways of utilizing commercial industry support as part of President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) as the States aims to take the next step in their primary role – a return to the Moon.

The office is being set up at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston and is part of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, with  Alan J. Lindenmoyer named as project manager.
The office will manage orbital transportation capability demonstration projects that may lead to the procurement of commercial cargo and crew transportation services to resupply the space station.

In testimony before a Congressional committee last week, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said, ‘Later this month NASA will issue a draft solicitation requesting commercial service demonstrations for space station crew and cargo delivery and return.
‘Where commercial providers have demonstrated the ability to meet NASA’s needs and safety requirements, commercial services will be purchased instead of using government assets and operations.’

‘There are many in the private sector that are eager to develop commercially viable space transportation systems,’ said Scott Horowitz, associate administrator, NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in a NASA press release today.
‘In the future, the commercial sector will provide cost effective access to space for both crew and cargo. While NASA must develop its own capabilities for space exploration, the commercial sector will eventually provide these services when it becomes cost effective. I am very excited to have Alan leading this effort. His skill, enthusiasm and dedication to developing commercial space will be key to enabling this fledgling industry.’

Lindenmoyer joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., in 1982 as a cooperative education student. He worked there as a flight structures engineer until moving to NASA Headquarters in 1987. At Headquarters, he served as a structural dynamics engineer for the space station Freedom program.

He moved to Johnson in 1990. He held progressively more responsible positions in the international space station program, most recently including technical integration manager and contracting officer’s technical representative.

Lindenmoyer received a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a commercial/instrument pilot certificate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona beach, Fla. He received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

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