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NASA CCiCAP updates

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DocM    12,777

NBC News CosmicLog has broken the story early:

My hope for apportioning -

SpaceX Dragon: full award

Boeing CST-100: full award

SNC Dream Chaser: 50% award

Awards will total $525 million.

Below: DragonRider, CST-100, and Dream Chaser




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DocM    12,777

Boeing Co. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. on Friday are expected to win the bulk of as much as $1 billion in federal awards to spur development of next-generation manned spacecraft, according to industry officials.

The decision, which is expected to be disclosed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, caps three years of efforts by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to foster so-called space taxis, commercially-owned and operated vehicles intended to shuttle crews to and from the International Space Station.

Chicago-based Boeing and closely-held Space Exploration Technologies, based in Hawthorne, Calif., appear poised to split most of the money tentatively earmarked by NASA and lawmakers for such systems, the industry officials said. The total amount available is likely to be between $800 and $1 billion through the middle of 2014.

Closely-held Sierra Nevada Corp., a manufacturer of satellite components and other aerospace hardware that is based in Sparks, Nev., seems likely to emerge with a substantially smaller award, according to the officials. After lengthy battles with congressional leaders, NASA chief Charles Bolden agreed there would be two primary winners, plus a third choice that would receive less funding, they said.


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DocM    12,777


RELEASE: 12-263


NASA Friday announced new agreements with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years. Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers.

CCiCap partners are:

-- Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, Colo., $212.5 million

-- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Hawthorne, Calif., $440 million?

-- The Boeing Company, Houston, $460 million

"Today, we are announcing another critical step toward launching our astronauts from U.S. soil on space systems built by American companies," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "We have selected three companies that will help keep us on track to end the outsourcing of human spaceflight and create high-paying jobs in Florida and elsewhere across the country."

CCiCap is an initiative of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and an administration priority. The objective of the CCP is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low Earth orbit. After the capability is matured and expected to be available to the government and other customers, NASA could contract to purchase commercial services to meet its station crew transportation needs.

The new CCiCAP agreements follow two previous initiatives by NASA to spur the development of transportation subsystems, and represent the next phase of U.S. commercial human space transportation, in which industry partners develop crew transportation capabilities as fully integrated systems. Between now and May 31, 2014, NASA's partners will perform tests and mature integrated designs. This would then set the stage for a future activity that will launch crewed orbital demonstration missions to low Earth orbit by the middle of the decade.

"For 50 years American industry has helped NASA push boundaries, enabling us to live, work and learn in the unique environment of microgravity and low Earth orbit," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The benefits to humanity from these endeavors are incalculable. We're counting on the creativity of industry to provide the next generation of transportation to low Earth orbit and expand human presence, making space accessible and open for business."

While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop commercial spaceflight capabilities to low Earth orbit, the agency also is developing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and the Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion MPCV will expand human presence beyond low Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.

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DocM    12,777

SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada have each receved ~$10 million to document yheir progress in human rating Dragon, CST-100 and Dream Chaser. This was announced weeks ahead of schedule, which may indicate they are progressing faster than anticipated.


CCiCap (commercial crew) progress report on milestones -

Completed -

Boeing: 3 of 19

SpaceX: 3 of 14

Sierra Nevada: 2 of 9

Of note concerning SpaceX's SuperDraco engine -

To date, the SuperDraco engines have undergone 58 hot-fire tests for a total run time of about 117 seconds. According to SpaceX Project Manager Garrett Reisman, ?The SuperDraco development and test effort is indicating that this newly designed engine will surpass our original requirements.?

If SuperDraco is that powerful, and is a deeply throttleable as rumors indicate, then it might also be useful as the engine(s) in a service module in a BEO (beyond Earth orbit) Drago. Human and large cargo landers too - a very compact but insanely powerful/ (for its mass & volume) thruster.

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DocM    12,777

Dig the fancy SpaceX flight suit! Very Trek-ish.

Also, there's a (too small IMO) graphic of an Falcon 9 v1.1 & Dragon with the crew access tower and slide line in their section.

First crew flight is likely in 2015 by SpaceX's Dragon, followed by Boeing's CST-100 and Sierra Nevada's Dream Chase in 2016-2017

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