NASA Looks to Move Quickly on Commercial Crew Certification

commercial_crew_earthNASA 60-Day Commercial Crew Update

In December, NASA selected Boeing, Sierra Nevada, and SpaceX for Commercial Crew Program phase I certification contracts. Under these, also known as “Certification Products Contracts (CPCs), the Commercial Crew partners will provide NASA with their proposed alternate standards, preliminary hazard analyses work, and plans for verification, validation, and certification. NASA experts then will assess these deliverables, relative to proven agency requirements and standards for human spaceflight, and provide feedback to the partners regarding the acceptability of their approaches toward ultimately achieving NASA certification to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. NASA’s responses will represent binding decisions that will carry forward into the next phase of certifiction, and therefore must be carefully analyzed and considered. Kickoff meetings have now been held with all three contractors and the work on NASA certifcation for ISS crew rotation services is underway. Through CPC, NASA receives and assesses commercial partners’ plans to meet NASA requirements.

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Commercial Crew Certification Effort Kicks Off

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By Bob Granath
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

On Jan. 22, NASA took a crucial next step toward launching astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States. Beginning the first phase of the Commercial Crew Program’s (CCP) certification efforts, three companies now are conducting activities that will confirm commercial spacecraft are safe to carry crews to the station.

This landmark comes as the agency celebrates the 45th anniversary of an essential stage in sending Americans to the moon.

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NASA Awards Certification Contracts to Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA announced Monday the next step in its plan to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil, selecting three companies to conduct activities under contracts that will enable future certification of commercial spacecraft as safe to carry humans to the International Space Station.

Advances made by these American companies during the first contract phase known as the certification products contracts (CPC) will begin the process of ensuring integrated crew transportation systems will meet agency safety requirements and standards to launch American astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States, ending the agency’s reliance on Russia for these transportation services. The second phase of certification will result in a separately competed contract.

CPC contractors are:

— The Boeing Company, Houston, $9,993,000
— Sierra Nevada Corporation Space System, Louisville, Colo., $10,000,000
— Space Exploration technologies Corp., Hawthorne, Calif., $9,589,525

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