Boeing Commercial Crew Milestone Status

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)
Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Excerpted from, “NASA’s Commercial Crew Program: Update on Development and Certification Efforts,” NASA Office of Inspector General, Report No. IG-16-028, September 1, 2016

In 2016, Boeing amended its schedule to reflect receipt of certification in January 2018 and the first certified flight in the spring of 2018. Notwithstanding the contractors’ optimism, based on the information we gathered during our audit, we believe it unlikely that either Boeing or SpaceX will achieve certified, crewed flight to the ISS until late 2018.

Boeing’s CCtCap contract initially included 23 milestones ranging from the establishment of an original requirements baseline to the final vehicle certification. Within the first 2 years of the contract, Boeing and NASA modified the contract to separate three of the milestones into multiple segments, replace one milestone, and add seven milestones related to NASA-imposed software upgrades, landing qualification tests, and hardware modifications. These modifications increased the number of milestones to 34 and the total contract value by approximately $46 million.

As of June 2016, Boeing had completed 15 of the 34 milestones (44 percent) necessary to achieve certification and was scheduled to receive up to $1.067 billion (25 percent) of the total contract value in payment.

Boeing Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) Milestone Status
Milestones: 34
Milestones Completed: 15 (June 2016)
Milestones Remaining: 19
Total Award: $1.067 billion (25 Percent)

Boeing CCtCap Milestones
No.DescriptionOriginal Contracted Estimated Completion Date
Added/Split
Milestone Estimated Completion Date
Revised,
Actual, or Upcoming Completion Dates
1Certification Baseline Review. A review to ensure baseline requirements identified are in line with NASA’s guidance; identify the current Crew Transportation System design baseline; define the plan and schedule to complete design, development, test, evaluation, and certification for the Crew Transportation System design, production, and operations; and define top safety, technical, cost and schedule risks.September-October 2014November 2014
2Ground Segment Critical Design Review. A review to determine that maturity of the ground segment is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration, and test.October 2014
 December 2014
3Phase 2 Safety Review – Boeing Internal Review (Phase II Safety Review – Part B). Review of the hazard reports/analyses, including cause identification, development of controls, and specific safety verification methods.December 2014January 2015
4Phase 2 Safety Review – Part B – NASA Safety Technical Review Board Readiness Review (Integrated Systems). Split milestone from the Phase 2 Safety Review – Part B (Integrated Systems) milestone.February 2015March 2015
5Phase 2 Safety Review – Part B – NASA Safety Technical Review Board 80% Completion (Integrated System). Split milestone from the Phase 2 Safety Review – Part B (Integrated Systems) milestone.June 2015July 2015
6Delta Integrated Critical Design Review. A review to determine that maturity of the design across launch segment, spacecraft segment, and ground segment is appropriate to proceed to assembly, integration, and test activities.January 2015May 2015
7Launch Segment Critical Design Review. Split milestone from the Integrated Critical Design Review. May 2015July 2015
8Qualification Test Vehicle Production Readiness Review. A review to verify that facilities, processes, and contingency plans are ready to begin spacecraft assembly operations.March 2015August 2015
9Checkout and Control System Activation/ Validation Tests Complete. Provide quick-look report briefing of Checkout and Control System activation and validation testing documenting test results and open work required for system to be ready to support Qualification Test Vehicle acceptance testing.July 2015 September 2015
10Qualification Test Vehicle Integrated Readiness Review. A review to ensure test hardware, test plans, procedures, facilities, support equipment, and any required test support software are progressing in development to support planned test activities.August 2015December 2015
11Structural Test Article Test Readiness Review Part 1. A review to ensure the test article is progressing in development.April 2015December 2015
12Structural Test Article Test Readiness Review Part 2. Split milestone from Structural Test Article Test Readiness Review Part 1.February 2016May 2016
13Flight Software Demonstration Nominal Launch, Docking and De-Orbit. A demonstration of the spacecraft flight software’s ability to autonomously perform the mission for a nominal launch, rendezvous, docking, undocking, and de-orbit sequence.October 2015 December 2015
14Orbital Flight Test Configuration Performance & Weight Status Report. A review of preliminary report that includes launch vehicle configuration, Spacecraft configuration, integrated flight vehicle weight, performance estimate, and performance margins for the flight test mission.December 2015 February 2016
15Mission Control Center Integrated Simulation System Acceptance Review. A review of preliminary report that includes launch vehicle configuration, Spacecraft configuration, integrated flight vehicle weight, performance estimate, and performance margins for the flight test mission.January 2016February 2016
16
Qualification Test Vehicle Test Readiness Review. A review to verify all requirements changes are complete, test article as-built configuration, test procedures are complete and approved, facilities and support equipment readiness to support test, all personnel have the required training, and review test based hazards to ensure controls are incorporated. (Canceled)April 2016
(Canceled)
April 2016 (Canceled)
16
Ground Verification Test and Environmental Qualification Test, Test Readiness Review: Replaced the Qualification Test Vehicle Integrated Readiness Review, per Boeing’s request. A review to ensure readiness to start Ground Verification Test and Environmental Qualification Test by verifying all requirements changes are complete, targeted test article as-built configurations will support objectives of tests, facilities and support equipment readiness to support test, all personnel supporting have the required training, and review of test based hazards to ensure proper controls are being incorporated.August 2016
17Integrated Parachute System Drop Tests 1 & 2 Complete. A complete integrated parachute drop test that will validate parachute system deployment sequence, timing and performance in preparation for the Pad Abort Test.
June 2016June 2016
18Orbital Flight Test Flight Operations Review. A review to evaluate and baseline flight operations products to ensure the safe and accurate implementation of mission requirements.
August 2016February 2017
19Spacecraft Servicing Operational Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate the readiness of ground support facilities and personnel to execute the planned objectives and requirements of flight and stage.November 2016 November 2016
20ISS Design Certification Review (Delivery Milestone). A review to demonstrate that the Crew Transportation System and operations meet all applicable requirements; demonstrate schedule performance; and define top safety, technical, cost, and schedule risks.November 2016February 2017
21Service Module Hot Fire Launch Abort Test Complete. A complete launch abort engine firings to validate propulsion system performance in preparation for Pad Abort Test.September 2016January 2017
22ISS Software Interface Control Document – Boeing Internal Implementation Plan for Engineering Release 8.0/ER 9.0. Milestone added due to NASA imposed software upgrades.July 2016
23Interim Review of Water/Land Landing Qualification. Milestone added at NASA’s request to conduct a review of the water/land landing qualification tests to ensure they are progressing and to incorporate any deviations of the plans that may be warranted.October 2016
24ER 8.0 Release: Milestone added due to NASA imposed software upgrades. November 2016
25Pad Abort Test Complete. A review of quick look report on completion of Pad Abort Test.December 2016October 2017
26Orbital Flight Test Flight Test Readiness Review. A review that demonstrates readiness to conduct an uncrewed Orbital Flight Test and defines a risk baseline for flight test activities.January 2017August 2017
27Crewed Flight Test Design Certification Review. A review of the final system qualification performance and associated analyses to support Verification Closure Notices closures that were exceptions at the ISS Design Certification Review and review all open actions.March 2017November 2017
28Crewed Flight Test Flight Test Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate readiness to conduct a crewed flight test and define risk baseline for crewed flight test activities.April 2017November 2017
29Operational Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate that the actual Crew Transportation System characteristics and procedures used in operations reflect the deployed state of the System. The review evaluates all project and support hardware, software, personnel, and procedures to ensure flight and associated ground system are in compliance with requirements.July 2017January 2018
30ER 9.0 Release. Milestone added due to NASA imposed software upgrades.April 2017
31Boeing Internal Payload Fault Isolation and Telemetry Implementation Plan. A plan to ensure NASA imposed hardware and software changes related to the Payload Control Unit are ready to be executed by the teams.May 2016
32Payload Control Unit and Payload Telemetry Modification Delta Critical Design Review. Perform a Delta Critical Design Review meeting focused on the design closure of all modified equipment and whether system performance is within certified limits. This review will encompass, at a minimum, the Payload Control Unit, harnesses, Ethernet cables, and software modifications.November 2016
33Payload Control Unit Modification Install Readiness Review. A review to ensure all aspects of the modification are ready for installation, assembly, integration, and test. The software, equipment, and production planning needed to modify the vehicle will be reviewed to ensure the modification can move ahead without the risk of rework. September 2017
34Certification Review (Delivery Milestone). A review in which the contractor provides evidence that the Crew Transportation System has met all NASA requirements and provides documentation of the crew safety and mission assurance risks.August 2017January 2018

Source: NASA Office of Inspector General analysis of Boeing completed and upcoming contract milestones.

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  • JamesG

    Slow and steady wins the race?

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Surely first to finish wins the race…….unless they’re not racing

  • JamesG

    Since both have a contract, no not much of a race.

  • While both companies will be fine in the long run, I’m sure Boeing’s press release will show they are immensely pleased to still be the only company to have designed all of NASA’s crewed vehicles (having gobbled up McDonnell Douglas and North American Aviation over the years). They fact they will even beat Lockheed after losing Orion will make it extra sweet.

  • windbourne

    And gives large profits.

  • Terry Rawnsley

    The contracts for both companies are fixed-price.