WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Sixteen months ago, NASA signed the second round of Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) Space Act Agreements with industry partners to advance multiple commercial crew space transportation system concepts and elements. The vast majority of the 62 performance milestones now have been completed, with only four more remaining. All CCDev2 milestones for the SAAs with SpaceX, ULA, ATK and Excalibur Almaz, Inc. have been successfully concluded.
Recently, SpaceX completed their final milestone, a second crew accommodation trial. During this review, several NASA engineers and veteran astronauts evaluated a prototype crewed Dragon spacecraft to assess operational tasks and gather data to improve crew and passenger experiences. Also, Boeing recently completed hot fire testing of the orbital maneuvering and attitude control (OMAC) engines for its CST-100, which demonstrated successful performance of the thruster design at vacuum conditions.
SNC recently conducted a captive carry test of the Dream Chaser to evaluate compatibility with the carrier helicopter in preparation for future approach and landing tests. SNC also completed testing of the nose landing gear for their flight test vehicle. Blue Origin completed a ground fire test of their pusher escape rocket motor and thrust vector control system.
SNC, Blue Origin and Boeing plan to complete their CCDev2 agreements by the end of 2012. Each of these agreements has critical risk reduction milestones remaining, which will further mature their crew transportation system development.
Blue Origin will conduct a pusher escape pad test to simulate an escape from a booster on the launch pad, and they will complete a full throttle test on their full- scale thrust chamber assembly. SNC’s remaining milestone is an approach and landing free flight test of the Dream Chaser engineering test article. Boeing will complete a ground systems software preliminary design review.