The aerospace company announced Monday that it has signed a Space Act agreement with NASA`s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the site of the agency`s astronaut training program, to develop a “private orbital astronaut readiness program” that organizes commercial flights to the International Space Station (ISS). Blue Origin, LLC is a privately funded U.S. aerospace manufacturer and suborbital space services provider headquartered in Kent, Washington.   The company founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000 is led by CEO Bob Smith and aims to make access to space cheaper and more reliable through reusable launchers.   Maxar Technologies has obtained two agreements, one for the creation of prototype electronics for a “semi-rigid” antenna and the other for the experimentation of new solar cell technologies. “We have identified the areas of technology that NASA needs for future missions, and these public-private partnerships will accelerate their development so that we can implement them faster.” Virgin Galactic`s own tour package provided around 600 bookings. He hopes NASA`s partnership could help spread the company`s name in a more serious space game to a wider audience: orbital and higher. Virgin Galactic`s core business is flying amateur astronauts in its VSS Unity supersonic aircraft for 250,000 $US per seat at the edge of the Earth`s atmosphere, up to 55 miles above the ground. The suborbital spacecraft is in the final stages of testing and is expected to pilot the first passenger, perhaps Richard Branson himself, as early as this year. On the 23rd.
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