Tag: human spaceflight

FAA Releases Recommended Practices for Human Spaceflight Safety

Comments

faa_logoWASHINGTON (FAA PR) — After working closely with NASA, industry, and other key stakeholders, the FAA has issued its “Recommended Practices for Human Space Flight Occupant Safety.”

This document is the culmination of a 3-year effort which involved researching existing human space flight standards, conducting a series of public teleconferences to gather recommendations, and soliciting feedback from the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC).

Continue reading ‘FAA Releases Recommended Practices for Human Spaceflight Safety’

Sierra Nevada Statement on Commercial Crew Awards

27 Comments
Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada Corporation has issued the following statement concerning the Commercial Crew Program awards to Boeing and SpaceX:

“Sierra Nevada Corporation recognizes that NASA has made a selection of an alternative provider(s) in the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability Contract (CCtCap) competition. SNC is planning to have a debrief session with NASA soon to obtain the source selection statement and decision rationale. When this process is complete and after a thorough evaluation, SNC will elaborate further on its future options regarding the NASA Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract decision and the Dream Chaser program. Due to this pending activity SNC will have no further public statement at this time. We will be providing further information at a later date.

“While SNC is disappointed NASA did not select its Dream Chaser® Space System for the CCtCap contract, SNC commends NASA for initiating the effort and is privileged to have been part of returning human space flight to the United States through our awarded contracts in all other phases of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program over the past four years.”

A Few Thoughts on Commercial Crew….

11 Comments

Launch_America_Commercial_Crew
It’s been two days since NASA announced commercial crew awards to Boeing and SpaceX. Now that the blogosphere and Twitterati have had their say, let’s step back and take a closer look at the most misunderstood aspect of NASA’s decision.

Much has been made about the disparity in award amounts, with Boeing receiving $4.2 billion and SpaceX “only” $2.6 billion. The difference has been variously attributed to SpaceX’s lean operations, Boeing’s high costs and overhead, and Boeing’s political influence on Capitol Hill. Some people believe NASA shafted SpaceX, giving far less funding to a superior company.

Continue reading ‘A Few Thoughts on Commercial Crew….’

Midland International Airport Gets Spaceport License

Comments
Texas Gov. Rick Perry flanked by XCOR officials in front of a full-scale mockup of the Lynx space plane in Midland. (Credit: Gov. Rick Perry's Office)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry flanked by XCOR officials in front of a full-scale mockup of the Lynx space plane in Midland. (Credit: Gov. Rick Perry’s Office)

FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation George Nield announced today the agency has awarded a spaceport license to Midland International Airport, paving the way for XCOR Aerospace to move its research and development operations there next year.

Nield made the announcement this morning at the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) meeting in Washington, D.C. Midland Airport Director Marvin Esterly was present to receive the license.

XCOR signed an agreement to move to Midland from Mojave, Calif., in July 2012. That move was contingent upon the Midland airport receiving a spaceport license that will allow XCOR to fly its Lynx suborbital spacecraft.

XCOR plans to move to Midland next year after conducting initial flight tests in Mojave.

SpaceX: “Deeply Honored” to be Selected for Commercial Crew

43 Comments
Dragon V2 spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Dragon V2 spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk issued the following statement earlier today after SpaceX was awarded a Commercial Crew Program contract:

“SpaceX is deeply honored by the trust NASA has placed in us.  We welcome today’s decision and the mission it advances with gratitude and seriousness of purpose. It is a vital step in a journey that will ultimately take us to the stars and make humanity a multi-planet species.”

NASA Selects Boeing, SpaceX to Launch Americans to Space Station

12 Comments

Launch_America_Commercial_Crew
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced Tuesday. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.

Continue reading ‘NASA Selects Boeing, SpaceX to Launch Americans to Space Station’

Boeing CST-100 Selected for Final Round of Commercial Crew Program

Comment
Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON, Sept. 16, 2014 (Boeing PR) – Boeing [NYSE: BA] will receive an award of $4.2 billion from NASA to build and fly the United States’ next passenger spacecraft.

Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 is being developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to resume U.S.-based flights to space by 2017. The CST-100 will transport up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and other low-Earth orbit destinations.

Continue reading ‘Boeing CST-100 Selected for Final Round of Commercial Crew Program’

NASA Awards Commercial Crew Deals to Boeing, SpaceX

58 Comments

nasa_commercial_crew_spacesuit
Bolden announced that Boeing and SpaceX will share contracts worth up to $6.8 billion. Details to follow.

Early reports indicate Boeing gets $4.2 billion with SpaceX getting $2.6 billion.

Statement by Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello in Response to NASA’s Commercial Crew Award Announcement 9/16/2014:
“First and foremost, congratulations to Boeing and SpaceX for being selected by NASA to provide commercial crew transport of U.S. astronauts to Low Earth Orbit.
“Today’s announcement is continued good news for Florida and for the nation. It advances a new era in space transportation and is the next major step toward restoring U.S. capability to fly astronauts to the ISS and beyond. Both Boeing and SpaceX have already invested significant time and resources into establishing commercial crew operations here in Florida and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with both companies to make their upcoming missions successful.”

Report: Blue Origin Joined Boeing Commercial Crew Bid

35 Comments
At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

The Wall Street Journal reports that Blue Origin has joined Boeing’s commercial crew bid as a partner, although in what capacity remains unclear.

The newspaper also reports that Jeff Bezos’s space company will team with United Launch Alliance to develop a replacement first-stage engine for the Atlas V, which will launch Boeing’s CST-100 crew vehicle to the International Space Station. The new engine would replace the Russian RD-180 engine.

Continue reading ‘Report: Blue Origin Joined Boeing Commercial Crew Bid’

Will Commercial Crew Announcements Be Made on Tuesday?

39 Comments

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: If Sierra Nevada wins an award for Dream Chaser and Boeing is out, this will be the biggest upset in American history since Washington defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown.

OK, that may be a bit much. Let’s say the biggest upset since Joe Namath and the upstart New York Jets defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 3 back in 1969. Broadway Joe guaranteed it, and he made good on his promise.

Imagine that I’m actually speaking this with a How-WARD Co-SELL accent. It will sound funny, believe you me. For those who don’t remember Howard, think of a deep nasal voice combined with a record needle being scratched on a blackboard. That’s not exact, but it is pretty close.

OK, so a lot of you don’t know what a blackboard and record needle are. Remember when Roseanne Barr tried to sing the National Anthem that one time? Kind of like that, only male and very nasal.

UPDATE: Andy Pasztor of The Wall Street Journal says Boeing is likely to take the bulk of the award. We will see what NASA does tomorrow. Stay tuned, everyone.