CCDev Awards: Boeing, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada

1:24 PT: Waiting for the telcon to begin….funky piano music plays….not space themed…what about Rocket Man? Major Tom? Mystery Science Theater 3000?

1:27 PT: E-mail said press release was to have been online earlier….no sight of it so far…

1:29 PT: Latin flavored guitar music….

1:30 PT: Here’s we go….

Philip McAlister….generic description of CCDEV….Space act agreements run from now until May 2012…discussions with 8 bidders….

— Blue Origin, Kent, Wash., $22 million – crew abort and spacecraft design and maturation
— Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, Colo., $80 million — Dream Chaser spacecraft
— Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Hawthorne, Calif., $75 million – Dragon capsule and abort system
— The Boeing Company, Houston, $92.3 million – CST-100 spacecraft

Total: $270 million out of $312 million in CCDev program awarded to companies

Two capsules, lifting body and biphonic (sp?) vehicle….i.e., whatever the hell Blue Origin is working on….

Wide range of amounts and percentages on company investment….most of them ran to 10 to 20 percent of the overall investment….some outliers lower and higher than percentage…

The $270 million awarded today was about what they had planned to award when they started CCDev 2 process…no awardees were cut due to lack of funding…

Will post selection statement on the web within a few weeks….want to debrief the companies first on selection….just notified companies today….

ULA question….not a need to man-rate the rockets, just that they weren’t selected…

Hopes that the market will support multiple crew transport systems….

President’s request — $850 million requested….


NASA has awarded four Space Act Agreements in the second round of the agency’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) effort. Each company will receive between $22 million and $92.3 million to advance commercial crew space transportation system concepts and mature the design and development of elements of their systems, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft.

The selectees for CCDev2 awards are:
— Blue Origin, Kent, Wash., $22 million
— Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, Colo., $80 million
— Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Hawthorne, Calif., $75 million
— The Boeing Company, Houston, $92.3 million

“We’re committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “These agreements are significant milestones in NASA’s plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low-Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration.”

The goal of CCDev2 is to accelerate the availability of U.S. commercial crew transportation capabilities and reduce the gap in American human spaceflight capability. Through this activity, NASA also may be able to spur economic growth as potential new space markets are created.

Once developed, crew transportation capabilities could become available to commercial and government customers.

“The next American-flagged vehicle to carry our astronauts into space is going to be a U.S. commercial provider,” said Ed Mango, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager. “The partnerships NASA is forming with industry will support the development of multiple American systems capable of providing future access to low-Earth orbit.”

These awards are a continuation of NASA’s CCDev initiatives, which began in 2009 to stimulate efforts within U.S. industry to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities.

NASA is looking for innovation….each of these companies are encouraging innovation….