With just over seven months to go, NASA’s commercial crew partners are racing to complete 14 remaining milestones in this phase of the competition to launch Americans into orbit on U.S.-built spacecraft.
The coming months will see SpaceX conduct to abort tests of its Dragon spacecraft and Sierra Nevada conduct at least one additional drop test of its Dream Chaser shuttle. Boeing will conduct three critical design reviews and a comprehensive safety review of its CST-100 spacecraft.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has successfully completed one of its partnership agreements with NASA, through which the company continued development of its Dream Chaser spacecraft. The Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement culminated with a review of the data collected during the company’s first free-flight test of the Dream Chaser spacecraft. SNC is one of NASA’s commercial partners working to develop the next generation of U.S. spacecraft and rockets capable of transporting humans to and from low-Earth orbit from American soil.
In continuing our look at the upcoming year in space, we find that the Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser vehicle has five milestones to meet this year under the current Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase of NASA’s commercial crew program. It also has a milestone still to meet from the previous Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) phase.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL. (October 15, 2012) – This week, Space Florida – the State of Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace development agency – received the 13th Annual H. Bruce Russell Global Innovator’s Award by CoreNet Global for recent work with NASA/Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and The Boeing Company in establishing Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program Headquarters and Manufacturing Site for the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft in Florida.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partner Blue Origin has successfully fired the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine. As part of Blue’s Reusable Booster System (RBS), the engines are designed eventually to launch the biconic-shaped Space Vehicle the company is developing.
The test was part of Blue Origin’s work supporting its funded Space Act Agreement with NASA during Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2). CCDev2 continues to bring spacecraft and launch vehicle designs forward to develop a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability that ultimately could become available for the government and other customers.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA partner United Launch Alliance (ULA) has completed the fifth and final milestone for its Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
The Hazard, System Safety and Probabilistic Risk Assessment detailed how ULA’s Atlas V rocket launch system hardware would ensure crew safety during launch and ascent.
Kennedy Space Center, Fl. (NASA PR) — The Boeing Company recently completed a jettison test of its forward heat shield, which will protect the parachutes of the company’s CST-100 spacecraft during future missions to and from low Earth orbit. The forward heat shield jettison will start the parachute deployment sequence and provide a safe landing for the capsule and its crew members. The test was part of Boeing’s work supporting its funded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) during Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2). (more…)
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.
Company: Sierra Nevada Corporation Location: Louisville, Colo. Spacecraft: Dream Chaser Type: Lifting body Crew Capacity: 7 Launch Vehicle: Atlas V (United Launch Alliance) CCiCAP Funding (if all milestones met): $212.5 million CCiCAP Term: 21 months Previous CCDev Funding: $125.6 million (Sierra Nevada), $6.7 million (ULA) Total CCDev and CCiCAP Funding (if all milestones met): $338.1 million (Sierra Nevada), $6.7 million (ULA)
SNC has 10 milestone to meet during the 21-month base period. The company received what amounted to half an award that is significantly less than the ones provided to Boeing ($460 million) and SpaceX ($440 million). The 2.5 awards approach was a result of an agreement between NASA and Congress.
Company: SpaceX Location: Hawthorne, Calif. Spacecraft: Dragon Type: Capsule with service module Crew Capacity: 7 Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 CCiCAP Funding (if all milestones met): $440 million CCiCAP Term: 21 months Previous CCDev Funding: $75 million Previous COTS Funding: $396 million Total COTS, CCDev and CCiCAP Funding (if all milestones met): $911 million
SpaceX has 14 milestones to meet over the 21-month base period. The company will conclude the CCiCAP funding with an integrated critical design review in March 2014 followed by an in-flight abort test the following month.
CENTENNIAL, Colo., July 19, 2012 (ULA PR) — United Launch Alliance (ULA) today announced the completion of a crucial milestone in its on-going development and certification of the Atlas V launch vehicle for human spaceflight. ULA successfully completed the fifth milestone of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) Unfunded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA. ULA’s Engineering Review Board confirmed that Atlas V can readily comply with NASA’s stringent safety and performance requirements for human spaceflight, leading the way to develop a safe, reliable and cost effective Crew Transportation System (CTS).
HAWTHORNE, Calif., July 12, 2012 (SpaceX PR) — NASA partner Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has completed an important design review of the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft. The concept baseline review presented NASA with the primary and secondary design elements of its Dragon capsule designed to carry astronauts into low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station.
SpaceX is one of several companies working to develop crew transportation capabilities under the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Through CCDev2, NASA is helping the private sector develop and test new spacecraft and rockets with the goal of making commercial human spaceflight services available to commercial and government customers.
LOUISVILLE, Colo., July 11, 2012 (NASA PR) — NASA partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed a successful test of the nose landing gear for its full-scale Dream Chaser engineering flight test vehicle. The completed test and an upcoming flight test are part of SNC’s Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
The gear test is an important milestone to prepare for the upcoming approach and landing test of the Dream Chaser Space System later this year. It evaluated the impact the nose landing gear will experience on touchdown in order to ensure a safe runway landing. (more…)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Excalibur Almaz Inc. (EAI) has successfully completed its Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Through CCDev2, NASA is spurring innovation and development of safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and launch vehicles capable of transporting astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.