Local Companies Vie to Work for Post-Shuttle NASA

February 7 2011, 1:00 PM

NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver visited Colorado Saturday, first with a trip to Louisville's Sierra Nevada Space Systems' offices, and then to the University of Colorado at Boulder to take a closer look at the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Her focus was on the relationship between government, private industry, and academia, writes the Daily Camera. It's a new era in space exploration, Garver says, "the entrance of the entrepreneur into the field that has been dominated by government investment." In other words, expect rapid commercial growth of the space industry.

Part of that evolution is a 200-acre research campus to be built somewhere along the northern Front Range as part of anĀ agreement between NASA and the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology. Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser is one of several designs from private companies competing to send astronauts into space once the Space Shuttle program ends later this year, notes 9News. Other companies already have deals with NASA. Space X, for instance, is slated to deliver cargo to the space station and may add passenger seats to its Dragon cargo capsule, reports the New York Times.