Tag: commercial crew

NASA and Commercial Partners Review Summer of Advancements

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) – NASA’s spaceflight experts in the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) met throughout July with aerospace partners to review increasingly advanced designs, elements and systems of the spacecraft and launch vehicles under development as part of the space agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) and Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) initiatives.

Blue Origin, The Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX are partners with NASA in these initiatives to develop a new generation of safe, reliable, and cost-effective crew space transportation systems to low-Earth orbit.

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Boeing Completes Final Two Commercial Crew Milestones

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Commercial interior of the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, (Credit: Boeing)

Commercial interior of the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON, Aug. 21, 2014 (Boeing PR) –  Boeing [NYSE: BA] recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review (CDR) of its integrated systems, meeting all of the company’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestones on time and on budget.

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Results of the NASA is Not Nominal Poll

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NASA_Not_Nominal_Reasons_PollIn a recent poll, Parabolic Arc’s readers had very strong opinions about why the U.S. space program is not nominal.

Congress: ‘enuf said topped the list with 121 votes. Although readers were not give the opportunity to explain why they thought the venerable was doing a bad job, it’s most likely that it has repeated refused to fully fund requests for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Voters were not quite as critical of the Lack of White House leadership in space, which nonetheless came in third with 83 votes.

Just above that was Space Launch System: Deep Space Money Hole, with 89 votes.

Orion: a vehicle to nowhere garnered 56 votes or 31 percent of the total, indicating less criticism of that program than the rocket that will carry it into deep space.

NASA’s Lame ass Asteroid Retrieval Mission and No focus on return to the moon were tied for fifth place with 47 votes each, which represented 26 percent of the total vote.

Too many projects, too little money came in just below those two reasons with 46 votes.

Only eight voters believed that commercial crew is a dead end.

A big thank you to all those who voted. If you haven’t already done so, please vote in our current poll about Elon Musk’s fear of the upcoming Robocalypse.

Remember: Vote early! Vote often! Just vote, dammit! Vote!

Space Florida Sets Boeing Commercial Crew Rent

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High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

Florida Today reports that Space Florida will charge Boeing up to $1 million per year in rent for facilities at the Kennedy Space Center where the company would assemble commercial crew vehicles.

The agreement is contingent upon Boeing winning a contract under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to build the CST-100 spacecraft, which would transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. NASA is expected to announce the next round of program funding soon.

The 10-year lease, which would begin on Jan. 1, 2015, would include a former space shuttle processing facility, an engine shop and offices. Space Florida would spend up to $20 million to renovate the facilities.

Boeing has said the NASA contract would allow it to base more than 500 jobs in Florida. However, the company is not expected to continue with CST-100 development if it does receive additional funds from the space agency.

Boeing is in competition with SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation, which also are developing vehicles under the program. NASA expects to announce the next round of funding shortly. It is likely that at least one of the competitors will be eliminated.

SNC Abandons Own Hybrid Motors on Dream Chaser

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Dream Chaser Main Propulsion System Test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser Main Propulsion System Test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sierra Nevada Corporation won’t be using its own hybrid rockets for its Dream Chaser space shuttle, making it the second company in recent months after Virgin Galactic to dump the nitrous oxide-rubber motors.

Kathy Lueders, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), revealed the change in an update during the third quarterly meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) on July 24.

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NASA Commercial Crew Decision Expected Soon

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Charles Lurio of The Lurio Reports that NASA is likely to announce contracts for the next round of the Commercial Crew Program on either Aug. 22 or Aug. 29. Sources have told him that the space agency is likely to make two full awards for partners to build and flight test their crew vehicles.

If he is correct, that would leave one of three competitors — Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation or SpaceX — without a seat at the table. Sierra Nevada and SpaceX have said they would continue with vehicle development if they are not chosen for this round. Boeing has said it would be difficult for the company to close the business case for its CST-100 spacecraft without additional NASA funding.

NASA’s goal is to have commercial crew transport to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of 2017. SpaceX has said that it believes it can begin service about a year prior to that deadline with its Dragon V2 spacecraft, which is an upgraded version of the Dragon cargo vehicle that has already flown to and returned from ISS four times. Boeing and Sierra Nevada have said they are on track to meet the 2017 deadline.

Sierra Nevada Eyes Dream Chaser Test Flights in Fall

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Dream_Chaser_LandingSierra Nevada Space Corporation is preparing for a series of Dream Chaser glide flights that will begin in the fall.

The company, which is competing with the Dream Chaser against capsule designs from Boeing and SpaceX for a contract to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, is more than 90% through the qualification program.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes CST-100 Work

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Test of abort motor for Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft. (Credit: Boeing)

Test of abort motor for Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft. (Credit: Boeing)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, completed its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) commitment in support of Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft that will help open a new era of spaceflight and carry people to low-Earth orbit from American soil once again.

A CST-100 partner and team member since 2010, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CCiCap work continued the development of the service module and launch abort propulsion system from prior commercial crew contracts with Boeing.

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Sierra Nevada Keeps Expanding Dream Chaser Team

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., Aug. 6, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® Space System, a reusable commercial orbital transportation system, is progressing through its flight test program and critical design review. As SNC’s Dream Chaser program enters its next phase, SNC is pleased to announce its expanded Dream Chaser – Dream Team – which includes prominent heritage aerospace industry members, small and disadvantaged businesses, as well as university and international space agency partners. Between these additional organizations and its long-term members, SNC continues to build one of the most competent and capable space industry program teams in the world. The growing employment scope and economic impact of the Dream Chaser program now involves 32 states and over 50 congressional districts and is expected to continue to expand as the program matures.

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Sierra Nevada Teams with BioServe on Dream Chaser Micogravity Capabilities

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., Aug. 4, 2014 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems is pleased to announce it is expanding its relationship with the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) through the signing of a letter of cooperation with CU-Boulder’s BioServe Space Technologies (BioServe). Through the cooperation, SNC and BioServe will jointly explore ways the Dream Chaser® Space Utility Vehicle (SUV) can serve as an orbital platform for scientific experiments in microgravity and space life science research.

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