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NASA Wants to Bring Enterprise to the Space Station

The ISS is looking for new ideas from companies to launch a low-orbit marketplace.
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Illustration: Stephanie Davidson
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After 15 years as a pure research lab, the International Space Station might be ready for business.

NASA is soliciting ideas from private enterprise on ways to use the orbiting laboratory for commercial purposes, taking another, tentative step in U.S. efforts to create a marketplace in space. NASA posed the request as a way to engender “out of the box concepts” for the space station since the agency says it’s become clear that “companies don’t think they can go straight to a commercial space station without continuing to take advantage of the ISS to test the waters and see what really will sell or where there may be issues.”