NASA Commercial Crew Partner Boeing Completes Launch Vehicle Adapter Review

An artist concept of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft atop its integrated launch vehicle, United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket. (Credit: Boeing)
An artist concept of Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft atop its integrated launch vehicle, United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket. (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The Boeing Company of Houston, a NASA Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partner, has successfully completed a preliminary design review (PDR) of the component that would connect the company’s new crew capsule to its rocket.

The review is one of six performance milestones Boeing has completed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative, which is intended to make available commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers. The company is on track to complete all 19 of its milestones during CCiCap.

Boeing is one of three U.S. companies NASA is working with during CCiCap to set the stage for a crewed orbital demonstration mission around the middle of the decade. Future development and certification initiatives eventually will lead to the availability of human spaceflight services for NASA to send its astronauts to the International Space Station.

The component that was reviewed is called the Launch Vehicle Adapter. The critical structure is being designed by United Launch Alliance (ULA) to join Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft to ULA’s Atlas V rocket, just above the rocket’s second stage.

“Solid systems engineering integration is critical to the design of a safe system,” said Ed Mango, NASA’s CCP manager. “Boeing and all of NASA’s partner companies are working to build in proper systems integration into their designs. This review with Boeing and their partner ULA was a good review of the current state of these important design interfaces.”

In recent weeks, teams from NASA, Boeing and ULA met at ULA’s headquarters in Denver, Colo., to assess requirements and capabilities to safely launch people into low-Earth orbit from U.S. soil once again. The PDR was a culmination of early development and preliminary analysis to demonstrate the design is ready to proceed with detailed engineering.

“The PDR was an outstanding integrated effort by the Boeing, ULA and NASA teams,” said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing Commercial Programs. “The ULA design leverages the heritage hardware of the Atlas V to integrate with the CST-100, setting the baseline for us to proceed to wind tunnel testing and the Launch Segment-level PDR in June.”

In addition to the Launch Vehicle Adapter PDR, Boeing recently completed two additional CCiCap milestones, including the Engineering Release (ER) 2.0 software release and the Landing and Recovery Ground Systems and Ground Communications design review.

The ER 2.0 software release was completed Jan. 25 in Boeing’s Avionics and Software Integration Facility Lab in Houston. This test laid the foundation for the software structure to control and fly the spacecraft, as well as communicate with pilots and ground systems.

The landing and recovery ground systems and ground communications design review Jan. 16 to 18 in Titusville, Fla., established the baseline plan for equipment and infrastructure needed for CST-100 spacecraft ground communications and landing and recovery operations.

For more information about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its aerospace industry partners, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

BOEING’S COMMERCIAL CREW MILESTONES

No.DescriptionDateStatusAmount
1.Integrated System Review. Boeing shall conduct an Integrated Systems Review (ISR) which establishes and demonstrates a baseline design of the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) integrated vehicle and operations that meets system requirements.August 2012Complete$50 Million
2.Production Design Review. Boeing shall conduct a Production Design Review which establishes the baseline plan, equipment, and infrastructure for performing the manufacture, assembly, and acceptance testing of the CST-100 spacecraft.October 2012Complete$51.7 Million
3.Safety Review Board. Boeing shall prepare and conduct a Phase 1 Safety Review of the CCTS Preliminary Design Review (PDR) level requirements, vehicle architecture and design, and associated safety products to assess conformance with NASA Crew Transportation System certification process (PDR-level products).November 2012Complete$25.2 Million
4.Software Integrated Engineering Release 2.0. Boeing shall demonstrate the software release [REDACTED] closed loop with guidance, Navigation & Control (GN &C) for the flight ascent phase.January 2013Complete$20.4 Million
5.Landing & Recovery / Ground Communication Design Review. Boeing shall conduct a Landing & Recovery / Ground Communication Design Review which establishes the baseline plan, for equipment, and infrastructure for conducting CST-100 spacecraft flight operations fulfilling both ground communications and landing and recovery operations.January 2013Complete$28.8 Million
6.Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The LVA PDR demonstrates that the preliminary design meets requirements with acceptable risk and within the cost and schedule constraints and establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design.February 2013Complete$45.5 Million
TOTAL TO DATE:$221.6 Million
7.Integrated Stack Force and Moment Wind Tunnel Test. Boeing shall develop a test matrix, fabricate the necessary test models, and perform an integrated launch vehicle force and moment wind tunnel test to validate predictions on integrated Crew Module (CM)/Service Module (SM)/Launch Vehicle (LV) stack for ascent.April 2013Pending$37.8 Million
8.Dual Engine Centaur (DEC) Liquid Oxygen Duct Development Test. Boeing shall complete a Dual Engine Centaur Liquid Oxygen Duct Development Test.May 2013Pending$21.5 Million
9.Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control (OMAC) Engine Development Test. Boeing shall complete the OMAC Engine development test to support component, subsystem and CST-100 vehicle level development.July 2013Pending$50.2 Million
10.Spacecraft Primary Structures Critical Design Review (CDR). A Spacecraft Primary Structures CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for fabrication, assembly and structural testing.October 2013Pending$8.6 Million
11.Service Module Propulsion System Critical Design Review. Boeing shall perform a Service Module (SM) Propulsion System Critical Design Review (CDR) after major SM Propulsion components have completed their individual CDR. CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for production and integration.November 2013Pending$7.5 Million
12.Mission Control Center Interface Demonstration Test. The Mission Control Center (MCC) Interface Demonstration Test demonstrates the linkage between the MCC and the Boeing Avionics Software Integration Facility which is a precursor to integrated simulation capability for flight operations training.September 2013Pending$7.9 Million
13.Launch Vehicle Adapter Critical Design Review. Boeing shall complete a Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) Critical Design Review (CDR). CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for production and integration.September 2013Pending$13.5 Million
14.Emergency Detection System (EDS) Standalone Testing. Boeing shall complete the Initial EDS Testing – Launch Vehicle Stand-alone.October 2013Pending$13.8 Million
15.Certification Plan Review. Boeing shall complete a review of the CCTS Certification Plan which defines our strategy leading to a crewed flight test.November 2013Pending$5.8 Million
16.Avionics Software Integration Lab (ASIL) Multi- String Demonstration Test. Boeing shall demonstrate the [REDACTED] flight software closed loop with GN&C for the flight ascent phase.December 2013Pending$24.9 Million
17.Pilot-in-the-loop Demonstration. Boeing shall demonstrate key hardware/software interfaces for Manual Flight Control meets requirements, including operational scenarios and failure modes.February 2014Pending$13.9 Million
18.Software Critical Design Review. Boeing shall conduct a Spacecraft Software CDR. CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for flight software development, verification, and delivery.March 2014Pending$15.1 Million
19.Critical Design Review (CDR) Board. Boeing shall establish and demonstrate a critical baseline design of the CCTS that meets system requirements. CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for production and integration.April 2014Pending$17.9 Million
TOTAL:
$460 Million