The agreement is part of a broader commercialization of the earth`s low earth orbit announced by the Agency last June to promote the commercial exploitation of the ISS and, finally, the development of commercial stations. This initiative includes a new commercial policy for the use of the station and a price list for the commercial exploitation of the ISS`s resources, as well as the cessation of private astronaut missions to the station. This space act agreement between NASA and Virgin Galactic is not the first agreement between the two organizations. Virgin Galactic has signed a contract with NASA`s flight program to carry research loads on SpaceShipTwo flights. The company has entered into several other space act agreements to support research and development, including one announced on May 5 to support its work on future high-speed transportation systems. Virgin Galactic already flies NASA payloads on SpaceShipTwo`s suborbital test flights for a fee, and last month the company announced an agreement with NASA to cooperate on supersonic missile transmission travel. Entering the privately funded orbital space market would be a new frontier for the company founded in 2004 by British billionaire Richard Branson. As part of the deal, Virgin Galactic will develop a new private orbital astronaut program. This program includes the identification of candidates interested in purchasing private astronaut missions to the ISS, acquiring transports to the ISS, orbiting resources and land resources. Supporting and coordinating the use of ISS resources will be an important point of integration needed for any private astronaut mission. The next generation of space travelers are interested in a large number of space experiments. Building on its experience in commercial space training, Virgin Galactic believes it can deliver a unique and personalized customer experience for orbital space.
As part of the agreement, Virgin Galactic`s mission is to find customers willing to travel to the ISS, arrange appropriate ground and space transportation and, most importantly, provide adequate training for the trip, like the company`s paying customers to prepare for their own suborbital space experience. Virgin Galactic spokeswoman Aleanna Crane said Virgin Galactic flew payloads for NASA during its first space flight in December 2018 and had been leading discussions about the Flight Opportunities program since its inception. . . .