According to the Huffington Post, a partnership was announced on Monday between NASA and Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA). The two will share data, as NASA evaluates ULA’s Atlas V rocket to determine whether or not the rocket can safely launch a manned craft into space.
The Denver Post reports that, “If human certification is determined, an Atlas V-powered private spacecraft could be launched ‘by mid-decade,'” according to Ed Mango, program manager of NASA’s commercial crew development program.
NASA already has a contract with another rocket company, SpaceX. NASA is going full-steam-ahead, working with several companies to ensure the exploration of the universe moves forward. But as the Denver Post points out, “ULA is the first rocket company to join NASA in studying the capabilities and limitations of its vehicles.”