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NASA to Fund Initial Designs of Commercial Space Stations Via CLD Program

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NASA plans to enter into two to four Space Act Agreements with companies to support the initial design of their proposed commercial space stations in low Earth orbit as part of the Commercial LEO Development (CLD) program, SpaceNews reported Tuesday.

The agency intends to award Space Act Agreements worth approximately $300 million to $400 million combined by the fourth quarter of 2021 to help companies transition the design of their proposed orbital facilities to the preliminary design review phase from fiscal years 2022 through 2025.

The CLD program’s second phase is expected to kick off in 2026 and would include the certification of commercial space stations by NASA and procurement of services.

NASA is expected to release a draft announcement of proposals in April and the final version in May 2021.