Multidisciplinary civil, military and space engineering and consultancy firm KBR has secured a series of contracts to support NASA in the training for human spaceflight operation services to commercial companies.
KBR currently holds the only agreement with NASA to provide these services using the agency's facilities and capabilities.
Through this agreement, KBR will be able to train private astronauts in a wide variety of spaceflight tasks including operating onboard International Space Station (ISS) systems, integrating into the existing ISS crew, performing routine operational tasks, maintaining health and performance, and responding to emergencies.
KBR will also provide medical operations and services prior to, during and after spaceflights.
From mission planning and training to mission execution, KBR will ensure these private astronauts are prepared to fly to the ISS and beyond. The company currently trains and provides medical support to NASA and ISS international partner astronauts and supports all planning and execution aspects of mission operations.
KBR will provide its specialised services utilising its more than 60 years of experience, which includes supporting every astronaut since 1968.
"KBR has pioneered space travel for more than half a century. We will leverage our domain expertise to assist private astronauts with their human spaceflight activities," said Stuart Bradie, KBR president and chief executive.
The agreement directly supports one of five elements of NASA's plan to open the ISS to new commercial and marketing opportunities that will continue the agency's efforts to enable a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy.
As was recently announced, KBR will further support this mission by working as a subcontractor to Axiom Space on the first commercial destination module for the ISS.
A key component of this is a US$400 million ($594 million) contract with NASA to provide intelligent systems research and development support services at the Ames Research Centre located in Silicon Valley.
KBR will provide resources and technical expertise to support the intelligent systems division on scientific research, technologies and applications development.
The company's work will assist the division with a variety of research domains and the infusion of advanced information systems technology on NASA missions and other projects within the federal government.
Bradie added, "KBR is extremely honoured to continue this partnership at NASA's Ames Research Centre. This contract award reflects the company's stellar performance over the last decade. Through it, we will continue to assist Ames in propelling space exploration."
This cost-plus-fixed-fee hybrid contract has a two-year base period with three two-year options. The contract has a maximum value of US$400 million ($594 million). The company has performed this work since 2008 through predecessor contracts.
KBR is one of the world's largest human spaceflight support organisations, contributing to every operational aspect of NASA's human spaceflight program. It currently operates at 11 NASA centres and facilities.
As part of this work, it executes International Space Station operations, performing 24/7 real-time human spaceflight command and control from the NASA Johnson Space Center Mission Control Centre.
Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.