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NASA Collaborates with Industry to Advance Space Communications
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NASA Collaborates with Industry to Advance Space Communications
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Mar 13, 2024

The Communications Services Project (CSP) is leading NASA's efforts to usher in a new era of space communications. Through strategic partnerships with the commercial sector, CSP is focused on delivering commercial space relay communications services for NASA missions operating near Earth. With an ambitious target to integrate these services into the Near Space Network by 2030, CSP has allocated $278.5 million to six domestic companies for the development and demonstration of advanced space relay communication capabilities.

This initiative is not only expected to fulfill the evolving requirements of NASA missions but also to catalyze growth within the United States' commercial space communications sector. The envisioned commercial space relay services aim to extend their benefits to other federal agencies and commercial aerospace entities, reinforcing the national space industry infrastructure.

Under the Capability Development and Demonstration (CDD) arm, CSP is diligently working to ensure the availability of commercial space relay capabilities to support NASA missions by 2028. Through the establishment of Funded Space Act Agreements (FSAAs) with six industry leaders, CSP is facilitating the advancement of space communication technologies.

In preparation for the transition to commercial services, the Mission Support (MS) sub-project is pivotal in assisting NASA missions with simulations and demonstrations, highlighting the advantages of commercial communication services. This effort is led by the Commercial Services User Group within CSP.

Additionally, the Service Infusion (SI) sub-project is developing a comprehensive set of requirements for commercial providers, aiming to standardize the operational services for NASA missions. This effort involves collaboration with stakeholders across the mission community, the Near Space Network, and NASA leadership to ensure a seamless transition.

The Near Earth Operations Testbed (NEO-T) sub-project is innovating with advanced emulation capabilities, enabling NASA missions to interact with commercial services in a laboratory setting. This initiative supports missions from planning to integration, enhancing the interaction with commercial systems.

NASA's CSP has formed partnerships with six companies under the FSAA to pioneer commercial space relay communication services. These partners include Inmarsat Government Inc., Kuiper Government Solutions LLC, SES Government Solutions, SpaceX, Telesat U.S. Services LLC, and Viasat Incorporated, each contributing unique capabilities to this collective endeavor.

Managed by NASA's Glenn Research Center under the SCaN program, CSP represents a strategic effort to modernize space communications, supporting over 100 missions with its initiatives. For further information or inquiries, CSP and SCaN contact details are provided.

Related Links
Communications Services Project
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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