NASA has forged separate partnerships with Boeing, Sierra Nevada and Space Exploration Technologies to develop an emergency spacecraft for use at the International Space Station, RedOrbit reported Friday.
Brett Smith writes the emergency spacecraft is intended to serve as a shelter for astronauts in distress and to function as a separate system from the ISS.
“There’s very little power available for these spacecraft so what we’re really driving the partners to do is develop this quiescent mode that draws very little power,” Justin Kerr, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program spacecraft office, told the publication.
The ISS-docked spacecraft will work to transport four to seven passengers back to Earth when needed, according to the report.
Smith writes that the vendors are required to design the spacecraft with capabilities to withstand collisions while in space using light materials.
Scott Thurston, deputy manager of CCP’s spacecraft office, told RedOrbit that Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX have already received the specifications for the emergency crafts.