NASA with Virgin Galactic wants to send astronauts on a private suborbital spaceflight
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceliner captured this view of Earth during the vehicle’s first trip to space, on Dec. 13, 2018. In a tweet Friday (June 19), NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said his space agency plans to drop a request for information (RFI) next week to fly astronauts on commercial suborbital spacecraft. “Whether it’s suborbital, orbital, or deep space, NASA will utilize our nation’s innovative commercial capabilities,” Bridenstine said in the tweet. No flight dates have been announced yet. BREAKING: @NASA is developing the process to fly astronauts on commercial suborbital spacecraft. Whether it’s suborbital, orbital, or deep space, NASA will utilize our nation’s innovative commercial capabilities. RFI will be released next week. pic.twitter.com/MOvRMywZAKJune 19, 2020 RFIs are competitive processes for NASA to make an informed choice between proposals from private companies based on qualifications it defines for participants. There are some likely leading contenders for the opportunity.