Spacehab to support commercial orbital transportation partners

HOUSTON, 23 August 2006. NASA has announced SpaceX and Rocketplane-Kistler as its funded partners under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Spacehab Incorporated has been in the business of providing commercial access to space for more than 20 years and has supplied NASA with its research and laboratory modules and carriers for use on the space shuttle since 1993.

HOUSTON, 23 August 2006. NASA has announced SpaceX and Rocketplane-Kistler as its funded partners under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Spacehab Incorporated has been in the business of providing commercial access to space for more than 20 years and has supplied NASA with its research and laboratory modules and carriers for use on the space shuttle since 1993. At present, Spacehab is the only company regularly operating commercial assets to and from space and on the International Space Station.

Although not selected as a prime for this program, Spacehab plans to assist both COTS teams, offering integration and operations expertise, payload processing and facility services, and additional customer-driven spaceflight capabilities.

"COTS is a vital first step in opening the potentially vibrant market in low earth orbit," says Michael E. Kearney, Spacehab president and chief executive officer. "NASA's investment in SpaceX and Rocketplane-Kistler will result in new opportunities for affordable, routine access for space utilization -- current prime inhibitors to the emergence of commerce in space."

With two decades serving the space utilization community, Spacehab expects to help further open the market to existing demand through these two suppliers much as it has done on the space shuttle, Russia's Progress spacecraft, and the European's Automated Transfer Vehicle.

In support of NASA's International Space Station assembly and operations, Spacehab is preparing for the STS-116 mission in December that includes use of the company's pressurized logistics module and unpressurized cargo carrier. These same assets are being employed by NASA on the STS-118 space shuttle flight scheduled for liftoff next year with the added feature of using a deployable version of the Integrated Cargo Carrier that will be permanently mounted on the space station and serve as a second on-orbit spare parts platform.

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