NASA has said that it is planning on signing its first ever contract with a commercial launch site in the coming days for astrophysics science experiments.
Talking about the upcoming deal, Keith Koehler, news chief at Wallops news facility said, “One of the advantages of using sounding rockets for scientific research is the mobility to go where the science is happening. In this particular case, the observations that need to be made require launching from Australia.”
While the space agency conducts 20 to 30 rocket launches every year, this will be the first time it signs a deal with a private commercial launch site.
This latest news comes after NASA announced earlier that it will be awarding contracts for three launches to a startup named ELA which is based in Melbourne. NASA revealed, “ELA is the only known source that has a lease in place for the launch site and agreements in work for a landing site that will allow NASA to meet its launch schedule of July 2020.”