SpaceX’s third commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station is set to blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday, March 16 at 4:41 a.m. EDT.
Space Tourism … and Much More
SpaceX CCiCAP Milestone Status
Award Period: August 2012 – August 2014
Milestones Completed: 12
Milestones Remaining: 5
Total Possible Award: $460 Million
Total Award to Date: $329 Million
Total Award Remaining: $131 Million
|1||CCiCap Kickoff Meeting. SpaceX will hold a kickoff meeting at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, or a nearby facility to review the current state of existing hardware, processes and designs, describe plans for CCiCap program execution during both the base period and the optional period and lay the groundwork for a successful partnership between NASA and SpaceX.||August 2012||Complete||$40
|2||Financial and Business Review. SpaceX will hold a financial and business review to accomplish verification of financial ability to meet NASA’s stated goals for the CCiCap program by providing NASA insight into SpaceX finances.||August 2012
|3||Integrated System Requirements Review (ISRR). SpaceX will hold an integrated System Requirements Review (ISRR) to examine the functional and performance requirements defined for the entire CTS for the Commercial Crew Program design reference mission per section 3.1 of CCT-DRM-1110, as well as to evaluate the interpretation and applicability of each requirement.||October 2012||Complete||$50 Million|
|4||Ground Systems and Ascent Preliminary Design Review (PDR). SpaceX will hold a Ground Systems and Ascent Preliminary Design Review (PDR) to demonstrate that the overall CTS preliminary design for ground systems and ascent meets all requirements with acceptable risk and within schedule constraints and that it establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design.||December 2012||Complete||$35 Million|
|5||Pad Abort Test Review. SpaceX will hold a Pad Abort Test Review to demonstrate the maturity of the pad abort test article design and test concept of operations.||March 2013||Complete||$20 Million|
|6||Human Certification Plan Review. SpaceX will hold a Human Certification Plan Review to present the Human Certification Plan. This Human Certification Plan Review will cover plans for certification of the design of the spacecraft, launch vehicle, and ground and mission operations systems.||May 2013||Complete||$50 Million|
|7||On-Orbit and Entry Preliminary Design Review (PDR). SpaceX will hold an On-Orbit and Entry Preliminary Design Review (PDR) to demonstrate that the overall CTS preliminary design for orbit, rendezvous and docking with the ISS, and entry flight regimes meets all requirements with acceptable risk and within schedule constraints and that it establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design.||July 2013||Complete||$34 Million|
|8||In-Flight Abort Test Review. SpaceX will hold an In-Flight Abort Test Review to demonstrate the maturity of the in-flight abort test article design and test concept of operations.||September 2013||Complete||$10 Million|
|9||Safety Review. SpaceX will hold a Safety Review at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, or a nearby facility to demonstrate that the CTS design is progressing toward meeting the Commercial Crew Program’s safety goals.||October 2013||Complete||$50 Million|
|10||Flight Review of Upgraded Falcon 9. SpaceX will conduct a review of a launch of the upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle demonstrating the operation of enhanced first-stage M1D engines, stage separation systems, enhanced second-stage MVacD engine and mission-critical vehicle telemetry during flight. Demonstration of the upgraded launch vehicle will serve as a risk reduction for the planned inflight abort test.||November 2013||Compete||$0|
|15A||Dragon Parachute Tests Phase I. SpaceX will conduct parachute drop tests in order to validate the new parachute design as capable of supporting a pad abort event. Milestone 15A included a crane drop test.||November 2013||Complete||$15 Million|
|15B||Dragon Parachute Tests Phase II. SpaceX will conduct parachute drop tests in order to validate the new parachute design as capable of supporting a pad abort event. Milestone 15B featured a helicopter drop test.||November 2013||Complete||$5 Million|
|TOTAL TO DATE
(OUT OF $460 MILLION):
|7A||Delta Ground Systems Preliminary Design Review (PDR). A PDR of the delta ground systems.
||July 2013||Pending 1Q 2014||$1 Million|
|11||Pad Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct a pad abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The scenario where an abort is initiated while the CTS is still on the pad is a design driver for the launch abort system as it dictates the total impulse and also requires parachute deployment in close proximity to the ground.||December 2013||Pending 3Q 2014||$30 Million|
|12||Dragon Primary Structure Qualification. SpaceX will conduct static structural testing of all Dragon primary structure components to ultimate load factors, as applicable. This series of tests will validate the Dragon structure’s ability to maintain integrity during all driving load cases as well as verify the accuracy of math models used to analyze the Dragon structure. Individual tests will be designed to exercise all credible failure modes and minimum margin areas.||January 2014||Pending 2Q 2014||$30 Million|
|13||Integrated Critical Design Review (CDR). SpaceX will hold an Integrated Critical Design Review (CDR) to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test.||March 2014||Pending 2Q 2014||$40 Million|
|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 3Q 2014||$30 Million|
An update from Aviation Week:
The U.S. Air Force has ruled that the first Falcon 9 v1.1 flight conducted last fall does count as one of three required for Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to be certified to compete for boosting U.S national security payloads into orbit, as the upstart company works to take on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) monopoly.
Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile systems Center, determined that the Sept. 29 launch would support certification despite a malfunction in an attempted upper-stage engine restart. Her decision was announced Feb. 24.
Read the full story.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap) partners are relentlessly moving forward in the joint quest to re-establish U.S. human access to space. All the industry teams have been hard at work meeting their planned CCiCap milestones and maturing their crew transportation systems.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk just Tweeted the following photo showing the first stage of the Falcon 9 with landing legs attached. SpaceX will attempt to bring the stage down with a controlled landing on the Atlantic Ocean when it launches a Dragon freighter to the International Space Station on March 16.
A group has started a petition urging SpaceX to find another place to launch its Falcon rockets other than Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, Texas.
To: Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies (Space X)
This south Texas site which you have selected for your rocket launch facility is surrounded by federally protected land, home to threatened and endangered species. It borders the ecologically essential South Bay of the Laguna Madre, the nation’s only hypersaline lagoon, a nursery for shrimp and coastal fish.
Please choose another location for your rocket launch site.
Read the full petition.
Over on the El Rrun Rrun blog, Juan Montoya says that it’s not just environmental concerns that should block SpaceX from building a launch facility near the beach. He also accuses local officials of over hyping the number of jobs created and the resulting economic benefits while offering too much in subsidies to SpaceX.
PALOS PARK, IL (Edison Awards PR) — The Edison Awards announced that Elon Musk, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and the CEO/CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), will be honored for his continuous contribution to human-centered design, as well as his positive influence on creating entirely new market opportunities and inspiring future leaders and innovators worldwide. The Edison Awards Ceremony will be held on April 29-30, 2014 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco, California.
NASA’s bill for crew transportation services to the International Space Station is expected to rise to more than $2 billion with the space agency’s latest decision to extend an agreement with the Russian space agency Roscosmos through the spring of 2018.
NASA plans to purchase six additional seats aboard Russian Soyuz transports for 2017 plus emergency crew rescue services through the spring of 2018. A similar deal the space agency signed last May for 2016 and 2017 cost $424 million, or roughly $70 million per seat. How much the new agreement will cost is unknown, but costs have risen sharply over the past several years.
Jean-Yves Le Gall , the president of the French national space agency CNES and former CEO of Arianespace, has written an op-ed in Le Monde in which he identifies what SpaceX has gotten right and calls upon Europe to respond in kind.
Below is a rough translation of a key portion via Google Translate:
If we compare the launcher SpaceX to its competitors, it differs in three major points. First, its perfect adaptation to launch useful governmental charges: these are the satellites from NASA and the Department of Defense who are an important part of its backlog and more of its income to the extent the government U.S. agrees to pay its own more expensive than what is charged to commercial customers launches.
Then its smaller size and ease of implementation, which lead to very low operating costs and de facto make it terribly competitive to launch commercial satellites: the last two launches of the Falcon 9 has achieved a return United States in this market, they were absent for several years, given the lack of competitiveness and availability of conventional launchers.
Finally, the technical definition and its industrial organization, from the beginning, have been designed with the aim of to minimize development costs and operating: instead of being a launcher at the forefront of technology, the Falcon 9 uses engines proven, easy to technology development and especially inexpensive to industrialize, and the launcher is made by a very limited number of subcontractors, which limits the production costs.
Le Gall says that Europe need to adapt to this changing world as it develops the Ariane 6 launch vehicle to replace the Ariane 5.
In its 2013 annual report, NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) calls the COTS program “extremely successful,” noting the space agency and its partners, Orbital Sciences Corporation and SpaceX, developed two new launch vehicles and cargo ships for less than the price of a single Space Shuttle flight.
The report provides a succinct synopsis of what NASA did right during the program:
It is important to point out that it was not simply the use of fixed-price Space Act Agreements that led to the Program’s success, although that helped to enable the successful outcome. Rather, NASA did a number of things right along the way, such as maintaining excellent program management, appointing well-qualified technical representatives to the PITs, providing the right amount of insight, requesting the right amount of information, and having the right number of Government attendees at industry meetings. Although the Government has much technical expertise to share, too much Government engagement can stifle industry innovation and/or significantly slow the “speed of decisions.” Finally, program flexibility made a substantial difference. One example of that was eliminating Rocketplane-Kistler as a partner when it failed to successfully complete program milestones and introducing Orbital Sciences Corporation to maintain competition for SpaceX. Another example was NASA’s willingness to combine SpaceX’s two demonstration missions into one when it became clear that all program objectives could be accomplished on a single flight.
“It would certainly not be appropriate for every Government program to use a COTS-type management philosophy, but we would encourage NASA (and other Government agencies) to consider adopting similar approaches where possible,” the report concludes.
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Space Tourism … and Much More
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