Under the auspices of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, Masten is developing the Xaero as a candidate for a suborbital reusable launch vehicle that can expose technology payloads to space-relevant reduced gravity or near-space flight environments. – Masten Space Systems

Sub orbit

NASA Selects Experimental Commercial Suborbital Flight Payloads

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected 13 cutting-edge space technology payloads for flights on commercial reusable launch vehicles, balloons and a commercial parabolic aircraft in 2013 and 2014. The flights will allow participants to demonstrate their technologies to the edge of space and back, before committing them to the harsh and unforgiving conditions of spaceflight.

The vehicles that will carry these payloads will include Las Vegas-based Zero-G Corporation’s parabolic airplane and high altitude balloons from Near Space Corp. in Tillamook, Ore. They also will include reusable launch vehicles from Masten Space Systems in Mojave, Calif.; UP Aerospace in Highlands Ranch, Colo.; and Virgin Galactic in Las Cruces, N.M.

“These payloads represent more real progress in our goal of fostering a viable market for American commercial reusable suborbital platforms — access to near space that provides the innovation needed for cutting-edge space technology research and development,” said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA’s Space Technology Program. “American leadership in the commercial suborbital flight market will prove to benefit technology development across NASA, universities, industries and in our new technology economy.”

Read more: NASA Selects Experimental Commercial Suborbital Flight Payloads | Moonandback.

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