Commercial Crew Update

Still Making Progress Credit : NASA

Still Making Progress
Credit : NASA

NASA today released the following update regarding the Commercial Crew program. To a great extent, the fate and timing of the program are going to depend on whatever final budget emerges for FY 2015.  So far, the program’s budgeting history has not been a happy one.

The process will formally get underway on Tuesday, March 4, at 2 pm EST when NASA releases its FY 2015 budget request.

Today’s press release is here, but this exert pretty much sums it up, with the final sentence detailing the real action to expect in 2014.

“All four of NASA’s industry partners continue to meet their established milestones in developing crew transportation systems and are preparing for several more. Blue Origin is preparing to complete its two remaining milestones under an unfunded Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) initiative extension. Later this year, NASA will review the company’s propellant tank assembly and subsystem interim design. The primary structure design of Boeing’s CST-100 will go through a critical design review that will determine if the spacecraft as a whole is ready for manufacturing. SNC is preparing for a review of data from numerous wind tunnel tests, which will further mature the Dream Chaser Space System design. In the coming months, SpaceX will host increasingly detailed reviews of the company’s integrated systems and progress on its ground systems. SpaceX also will conduct two flight tests of Dragon’s launch abort systems, powered by two SuperDraco thrusters that will push the spacecraft into the sky rather than pulling it up, as previous launch abort systems have done.”

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