An Update on the Commercial Crew Systems

commercialcrew_360
Aviation Week
has updates [here and here] on the three competitors in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Brief summaries follow.

Boeing

  • The company is a third of the way through 13 key milestones for 2013. It has 19 milestones to complete by next spring.
  • Boeing is planning to launch the CST-100 spacecraft on a three-day test flight in 2016.
  • The first two CST-100 spacecraft will be launched on Atlas V. However, Boeing is evaluating whether the crew vehicle can be launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

SpaceX

  • The company is on tract to conduct a pad abort test in December.
  • SpaceX plans to fly the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station with a non-NASA crew in mid-2015, if it receives sufficient funding from NASA.

Sierra Nevada Corporation

  • The Dream Chaser shuttle has begun tow tests at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif.
  • The tow tests are in preparation for drop tests from a helicopter later this year.

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