NASA, the US space agency, is planning to award private companies $400 million that are willing to replace the International Space Station that is set to retire by the end of this decade.
In an interview with CNBC, Phil McAlister, NASA's commercial-spaceflight director, stated that NASA has received 'roughly a dozen proposals' to replace the ISS, which launched into orbit in November 1998. However, McAlister did not name the companies working on the proposals.
By having facilities on private space stations instead of the ISS, it could save NASA more than $1 billion per year, McAlister explained. He added that NASA hopes to announce the contract winners 'before the end of the year.'
According to CNBC, over 50 companies expressed interest in the Commercial LEO Destinations project when it was announced earlier this year, including SpaceX, Boeing and Blue Origin.
It's worth mentioning that NASA handed out contracts to companies to develop and build new spaceships under the Commercial Crew Program, which went to SpaceX and Boeing, respectively.
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