Today it was announced that NASA and Craig Technologies have signed a five-year, non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement which will have NASA loaning 1,600 pieces of space shuttle era equipment to Craig Technologies. The agreement will have Craig Technologies maintain an inventory of unique processing and manufacturing equipment for future mission support at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
"This is an innovative way to ensure that space shuttle era technology and tools are reused for other hi-tech, private sector purposes along the Space Coast," said David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for the Office of Communications."This is all part of NASA's plan to support the transition to the next era of exploration, creating good-paying American jobs and keeping the United States the world leader in space."
Craig Technologies will have use of the equipment starting in 2013 when the current partnership between NASA and United Space Alliance ends. The equipment, which is currently being held the NASA Shuttle Logistics Depot in Cape Canaveral, Fla, will be available for Craig to use with 2 restrictions. One being that they can use the equipment until NASA needs to use it. And two, they must store the used equipment within a 50 mile radius of Kennedy Space Center.
"Kennedy continues to work with the commercial community to find inventive ways to share our unique capabilities," said Joyce Riquelme, manager of the Kennedy Center Planning and Development Office. "This partnership benefits new customers who will use the equipment now, and keeps it close for our use in future spaceflight projects."
NASA has really been focusing on outsourcing the things it does as its budget continually dwindles. This deal, partnered with the deal they struck with SpaceX shows that NASA is capable of moving forward in these rough financial times.