How much will it cost to send this letter to ? http://keandra.in.net/ keandra To NASAâs credit, both have also been beneficiaries of the agencyâs visionary programs. The Commercial Orbital Transport Services program, or COTS, has been the Federal governmentâs best kept secret. Starting in 2006 under the flexibility of the Space Act Agreements, our national space agency subsidized the development and testing of commercial replacements for the aging and expensive Space Shuttle by rewarding firms for attaining certain milestones. The program was a resounding success. More than 20 businesses applied for the program, three were selected, and one of those was quickly eliminated. The total COTS investment of approximately $700 million is about half the estimated (fixed and operating) $1.5 billion cost of a Space Shuttle flight. The payoffs from this public investment include two new American companies capable of launching NASAâs Earth orbit payloads, critical redundancy for U.S. military launches, and the first entirely commercial options for non-governmental customers.