NASA plans to work with SpaceX to use the company`s Red Dragon unmanned spacecraft concept to send payloads to Mars for technology demonstrations, Space News reported Thursday. Steve Jurczyk, deputy administrator for NASA`s space mission directorate, told the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference that potential loads could include resource-based platforms. Seventeen companies have signed five-year space agreements with NASA to participate in development testing activities as part of the Agency`s Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge. NASA said Wednesday that the challenge is aimed at testing the availability and capabilities of vehicles that can alter mobility in densely populated areas. One from La Sierra Nevada Corp. A built spacecraft has undergon a prisoner carry test at NASA`s Armstrong Flight Research Center as part of the second phase of flight tests to prepare the vehicle for future orbital flight. SNC said Wednesday that Dream Chaser tests is part of a space act agreement between the company and . Sierra Nevada Corp. has entered into updates and initial hardware testing on the Dream Chaser flight test vehicle as part of the company`s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract. The company said Thursday that it will deliver the test vehicle to NASA`s Armstrong Flight Research Center to go through a second phase of flight testing, towing testing, pre-flight ground evaluations. Virgin Galactic has already developed a bespoke Future Astronaut Readiness program for its customers who fly from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Virgin Galactic`s space experiment could play an important role in training for orbital travel, allowing passengers to become familiar with the space environment like G and zero-G forces.

Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic`s original base, is used for some elements of the training program and uses facilities designed for training private astronauts. NASA and the BoldlyGo Institute have reached an agreement on the Space Act to build and deploy a specially built space telescope to determine potentially habitable planets in the Alpha Centauri system. BoldlyGo said Tuesday that the public-private cooperation is trying to open up opportunities for NASA employees and Project Blue employees. Virgin Galactic is a vertically integrated aerospace company that is a pioneer in manned space for individuals and researchers and is the manufacturer of advanced aerospace and space vehicles. . . .