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NASA, Partners Detail How Human Spaceflight in LEO Can Boost Economy, Exploration

An interagency effort led by NASA submitted a report to the National Space Council detailing the opportunities and challenges for human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit, and how it could help boost the economy and space exploration. 

The agency said Saturday, it issued the report in partnership with the departments of State and Commerce. In February, The National Space Council requested that NASA work with other federal agencies to create a national strategy for human spaceflight in LEO. The report states that NASA plans to work with the private sector and other nations, particularly those using the International Space Station.

“As we work to create a new set of commercial human spaceflight capabilities, we will enable U.S. commercial enterprises to develop and operate under principles of long-term sustainability for space activity,” the report said. 

NASA also provided the space council with its four main goals for human spaceflight:\n

  • To achieve a continuous U.S. presence in LEO – both NASA astronauts and private citizens – in order to support the use of space by U.S. citizens, companies, academia, and international partners and maintain a permanent American foothold on the nearest part of the space frontier.
  • To create a regulatory environment in LEO that enables American commercial activities to thrive.
  • To conduct human spaceflight research in LEO that will advance the technology and systems required for long-duration spaceflight systems, including systems for interplanetary travel and permanent space habitation.
  • To expand and extend commercial opportunity though international partnerships and engagement.

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