Information below 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
SpaceX’s CCtCap contract initially included 18 milestones. During the first year of the contract, SpaceX and NASA agreed to separate SpaceX’s Propulsion Module Testing and Critical Design Review into multiple segments, which increased the total milestones to 21.
As of June 2016, SpaceX had completed eight milestones (38 percent), five less than planned under the original schedule, and received $469 million (18 percent) of the total contract value.
SpaceX remains optimistic about its ability to meet the contract schedule and continues to work toward late 2017 for its first certified crewed mission. 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.
Editor’s Note: SpaceX also has a milestone left over from its earlier Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) contract.
SpaceX Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Milestone Status
Milestones Completed: 19
Milestones Remaining: 1
Total Possible Award: $460 Million
Total Award: $430 Million
Total Award Remaining: $30 Million
|No.||Description||Original Contracted Estimated Completion Date||Status||Amount|
|14||In-Flight Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct an in-flight abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The in-flight abort test will supplement the pad abort test and complete the corners-of-the-box stress cases. The in-flight abort scenario represents a Dragon abort while under propulsive flight of the launch vehicle during the worst-case dynamic loads on the CTS.||April 2014||Pending||$30 Million|
|TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $460 MILLION):||$30 Million|
SpaceX Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) Milestone Status
Milestones Completed: 8 (June 2016)
Milestones Remaining: 13
Total Award: $469 million (18 Percent)
Upcoming completion dates in the table below reflect SpaceX’s most current expectation as of June 2016.
|SpaceX CCtCap Milestones (June 2016)|
|No.||Description||Original Contracted Estimated Completion Date||Added/Split Milestone Estimated Completion Date||Revised, Actual, or Upcoming Completion Date|
|1||Certification Baseline Review. A review to ensure baseline requirements are identified in line with NASA guidance; identify the current Crew Transportation System design baseline; define the plan and schedule to complete design, development, test, and evaluation and certification for the Crew Transportation System design, production, and operations; and define top safety, technical, cost, and schedule risks.||November 2014||December 2014|
|2||Avionics Test Bed Activation. Flight-like avionics and flight-like harnessing are developed and built to perform system-level testing, demonstration, and validation of avionics hardware and software capabilities.||May 2015||July 2015|
|3||Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete. Conduct testing of a flight-representative Crew Dragon spacecraft propulsion system.||April 2015||October 2015|
|4||Validation Propulsion Module Testing Complete. Split milestone from Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete.||August 2016|
|5||Critical Design Review. A review to ensure that the detailed Dragon-Falcon 9 System design will satisfy all applicable requirements with adequate margins; is sufficiently mature to proceed with fabrication, assembly, integration, and test; and has completed the product verification and validation plans with NASA’s approval.||June 2015||November 2015|
|6||Delta Critical Design Review. Split milestone from Critical Design Review.||December 2015|
|7||Delta Critical Design Review 2. Split milestone from Critical Design Review.||August 2016|
|8||Docking System Qualification Testing Complete. Qualify the docking system to the requirements and test with a fully functional qualification unit.||August 2015||December 2015|
|9||Propulsive Land Landing Test Complete. Conduct a propulsive landing test of Dragon under nominal hardware conditions. The vehicle will be dropped from an altitude sufficient to deploy parachutes and approach the landing burn under flight-like conditions. The intent of the test is to integrate the parachute, navigation, and propulsion systems into Dragon to demonstrate landing with command and control, as well as data acquisition. (Renamed Propulsive Descent Test Complete per SpaceX request)||September 2015||December 2015|
|10||Launch Site Operational Readiness Review for Crew. A review to demonstrate that the launch site meets requirements with acceptable level of risk for completing the flight to the ISS without crew milestone; evaluation of the effectiveness of the pad escape system.||November 2015||December 2015|
|11||Flight Test Without Crew Certification Review. A review to certify the design and safety of the flight to the ISS without crew; complete all requirements for the Dragon-Falcon 9 Crew Vehicle, ground segment, and mission operation elements in preparation for a mission to the ISS without crew.||December 2015||September 2016|
|12||Environmental Control and Life Support System Integrated Test Complete. Demonstrate that the Crew Dragon Environmental Control and Life Support System will support the metabolic loads of the crew and provide the conditions needed to sustain human life onboard the Dragon spacecraft during a nominal mission.||February 2016||July 2016|
|13||Flight to ISS Without Crew. To conduct a flight test of the Dragon-Falcon 9 Crew Vehicle without crew; to provide early demonstration and risk reduction of the Dragon-Falcon 9, ground segment, and mission operations elements.||March 2016||December 2016|
|14||Parachute Qualification Complete. To conduct a series of tests on the parachute system in nominal and off-nominal configurations, enveloping conditions for abort and nominal entry scenarios.||April 2016||January 2017|
|15||Space Suit Qualification Testing Complete. To conduct a series of tests on the space suit to qualify the design for flight.||May 2016||September 2016|
|16||Launch Site Operational Readiness Review for Crew. A review to demonstrate the readiness of the launch complex crew ingress/egress system to show that the system meets all requirements with acceptable risk.||June 2016||June 2016|
|17||Design Certification Review. 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.||July 2016||January 2017|
|18||Flight Test Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate readiness to conduct a crewed flight test and defines a risk baseline for crewed flight test activities.||September 2016||March 2017|
|19||Flight to ISS with Crew. Conduct a second test flight of the crew system, this time with crew, to provide an early demonstration and risk reduction of the system for operational missions.||October 2016||April 2017|
|20||Operational Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate that the Crew Transportation System characteristics and the procedures used in operations reflect the deployed state of the system; evaluation of all project and support hardware, software, personnel, and procedures to ensure flight and associated ground systems are in compliance with program requirements and constraints.||January 2017||July 2017|
|21||Certification Review. 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.||April 2017||October 2017|
Source: NASA Office of Inspector General analysis of SpaceX completed and upcoming contract milestones.