WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded three additional missions to Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, for crew transportation services to the International Space Station as part of its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract. The CCtCap modification, following the agency’s notice of intent to procure the flights in December 2021, brings the total missions for SpaceX to nine and allows NASA to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for […]
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA intends to issue a sole source modification to SpaceX to acquire up to three additional crew flights to the International Space Station as part of its Commercial Crew Transportation Capabilities (CCtCap) contract. The additional crew flights allow NASA to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for human access to the space station.
Updated Oct. 9, 2019 at 9:08 am PDT with paragraph summarizing some of the reasons for the schedule delays.
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
There’s been a lot of discussion over the last week or so about NASA’s delay plagued Commercial Crew Program, which is designed to restore the nation’s ability to launch astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.
Prior to SpaceX CEO’s Elon Musk’s Sept. 28 webcast update on the Starship program, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine expressed frustration that the company wasn’t more focused on the Crew Dragon program that hasn’t flown astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) yet.
Asked about the delay by a CNN journalist after giving an update on Starship’s progress on Sept. 28, Musk questioned whether Bridenstine was asking about delays at with commercial crew or with NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). He laughed and mugged for the camera.
Musk’s rabid fans cheered it to be a sick burn against against a slow-moving space agency. The administrator diplomatically called it not helpful. He also revealed the cause of his pique.
With the recent news that commercial crew flights to the International Space Station will likely slip to the end of 2018, I thought it would be a good time to review what NASA has spend on the program since it began in 2010. And, since NASA has separated cargo and crew, we will also look at the space agency’s commercial cargo programs.
The table below shows that NASA has given out nearly $8.4 billion in contracts to Commercial Crew Program partners over the past six years. These figures do not include NASA’s overhead.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA took another important step Friday in returning U.S. astronaut launches from U.S. soil with the order of a second post-certification mission from commercial provider SpaceX in Hawthorne, California. Commercial crew flights from Florida’s Space Coast to the International Space Station will restore America’s human spaceflight launch capability and increase the time U.S. crews can dedicate to scientific research, which is helping prepare astronauts for deep space missions, including the Journey to Mars.
SpaceX’s commercial crew program is running more than a year behind schedule on the Commercial Crew program it is performing for NASA.
Garrett Reisman, SpaceX’s Director of Crew Operations, said on Tuesday that an automated flight test of the Crew Dragon vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS) has slipped into the second quarter of 2017. (Spaceflight Now has the mission listed for May 2017.) It was scheduled to occur in March 2016 under the contract NASA awarded to SpaceX in September 2014.
SpaceX vehicle integration building at Pad 39A. (Credit: NASA)
By Douglas Messier Managing Editor
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell was making the rounds last week in Washington, D.C., speaking before the Satellite 2015 conference and a House Armed Services subcommittee meeting. Much of the focus was on the latter, where Shotwell engaged in a she said-he said battle over launch costs with United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno.
More interesting were the updates Shotwell provided on SpaceX’s plans for 2015 and beyond. What emerged is just how crowded the company’s agenda is for the rest of the year. The table below provides a summary.
Boeing CCtCap Milestone Status Milestones: 23 Milestones Completed: 2 Milestones Remaining: 21 A couple of notes on the table below: In January, Boeing said it was planning an automated test flight of the CST-100 spacecraft to the International Space Station in April 2017 followed by a flight with crew in July of that year. These flights do not seem to be listed as specific milestones in the contract document. The […]
SpaceX CCiCAP Milestone Status Milestones: 20 Milestones Completed: 18 Milestones Remaining: 2 Total Possible Award: $460 Million Total Award to Date: $400 Million Total Award Remaining: $60 Million NO. DESCRIPTION ORIGINAL DATE STATUS AMOUNT 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 […]
SpaceX Dragon abort test article. (Credit: SpaceX)
SpaceX is gearing up for two critical commercial crew tests involving its Dragon capsule in the coming months: a pad abort test in Florida, and an in-flight abort at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The pad abort test will occur sometime between Feb. 10 and May 10 according to an application for special temporary authority (STA) that SpaceX has filed with the Federal Commission Commission. The STA is required for use of radio frequency during the test.