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NASA hopes to help businesses get into space

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to make it easier for business to do business in space. NASA officials this week said the government will provide seed money or reduce flight prices for research and development under certain conditions; cost incentives will be based on how close to market a service or product is.

''The government should not expend tax dollars for endeavors the private sector is willing to underwrite,'' NASA said. ''However, the government should invest in high-cost and-or high-risk technologies and space facilities which encourage private investment.''

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NASA said it will impose two requirements when a ''significant government contribution'' is requested for a commercial space endeavor: ''First, the private sector must have significant capital at risk, and second, there must be significant potential benefits for the nation.''