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NASA Wants To Fund Space Taxis 136

NASA plans on using $50 million in stimulus funds to seed development of a commercial passenger transportation service to space. Potential space taxi inventors have 45 days to submit their proposals. The proposals will be competitively evaluated and the winners will be announced by the end of September. It is unclear what other Commodore 64 games NASA plans on making a reality, but I hope Arkanoid makes the short list.


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NASA Wants To Fund Space Taxis

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  • by zorro-z ( 1423959 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:20PM (#29025747)

    It's worth nothing that, while few people are directly involved w/the space program, the space program has historically had indirect benefits which have benefited society. To list a few (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off [wikipedia.org]):

    Health and Medicine
    Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) (2005)
    Infrared Ear Thermometers (1991)
    DeBakey's Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) (2002)
    Artificial Limbs (2005)

    Aircraft Anti-Icing Systems (2007)
    Highway Safety Grooving (1985)
    Improved Radial Tires (1976)
    Chemical Detection (2007)

    Public Safety
    Video Enhancing and Analysis Systems (2001)
    Land Mine Removal (2000)
    Fire-Resistant Reinforcement (2006)
    Firefighting Equipment (1976 onwards)

    Consumer, Home, and Recreation
    Temper Foam (1976-2005)
    Enriched Baby Food (1996, 2008)
    Portable Cordless Vacuums (1981)
    Freeze Drying Technology (1976, 1994)

    Environmental and Agricultural Resources
    Water Purification (1995, 2006)
    Solar Energy (2005)
    Pollution Remediation (1994, 2006)

    Computer Technology
    Better Virtual Software (2005)
    Structural Analysis (1976-1998)
    Internet-Connected Ovens (2005)

    Industrial Productivity
    Powdered Lubricants (2005)
    Improved Mine Safety (1978-2008)
    Food Safety Systems (1991)

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @01:50PM (#29026283) Journal
    This is a minimal amount of money for human rated launchers. Between SpaceX and Scaled Composites, this IS coming (Though to be honest, I would really like to see SpaceDev finish their work on their h-20).

    What really IS needed IS a space taxi AND a tug. Russia has the idea correct. Augustine should be pushing Obama/NASA to buy several Bigelows to attach to the ISS. First buy the sundancer and attach it to the ISS to hold cargo (keep hatch closed except when needing to access). Then buy a BA-330 for human space. That is all that is needed to get them going in orbit. These are perfect for playing space taxis, if we attach a tug to these.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus