NASA PR — NASA’s industry partners continue to make good progress in maturing designs and development of their commercial crew transportation systems under CCDev2. During the past two months, eight milestones were completed by Sierra Nevada, SpaceX, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Alliant Techsystems, Inc., and Excalibur Almaz, Inc. This brings the total number of completed milestones under CCDev2 to 34 of the 62 planned. Each of these milestone accomplishments brings the United States one step closer to ending the gap in America’s human access to space.
Among the recent milestones was Sierra Nevada’s delivery of their Dream Chaser spacecraft Engineering Test Article (ETA) structure at their facility in Louisville, Colorado. The all-composite structure was designed by the Sierra Nevada team and built in collaboration with composite industry experts. When competed, the Dream Chaser ETA will be a full-scale prototype of the company’s planned orbital spacecraft. It will be used for several tests, including a free- flight test of the vehicle in the summer. These upcoming test milestones are critical to further understanding aerodynamic and control qualities to validate computer models used to finalize the design of the Dream Chaser.
Another recent milestone was SpaceX’s “Crew Accommodation Concept Prototype and In-Situ 1” milestone. For this event, SpaceX completed prototypes of the Dragon spacecraft’s crew cabin, seats, and control panel layout. NASA astronauts participated in trial evaluations of the crew cabin and provided feedback to SpaceX. The data will be used to refine their prototype designs to improve usability, reduce the chance of human error, and improve functionality in preparation for a second astronaut evaluation trial scheduled later this year.
A summary schedule showing all completed and planned CCDev2 milestones can be found at: