NASA doesn’t just see the International Space Station as a place where government space agencies can work together in harmony — it could be a business hub, too. The agency has put out a call for ideas that could increase commercial use of the ISS. Those private outfits have potential uses that researchers hadn’t imagined, NASA says. They could likely take better advantage of the “unique capabilities” of the low-Earth orbit facility, such as hooking up to underused attachment ports.
Companies have quietly been soliciting ideas since the start of July, and they’ll have until the 29th to get their ideas in. This won’t necessarily turn the ISS into a marketplace. However, you shouldn’t be surprised if the station soon gets more of a private presence than the occasional SpaceX capsule.