NASA is striving to document Commercial Crew Development 2 advances among its latest grant recipients with a new bi-monthly, electronic online newsletter, NASA's Return on Investment Report.
"We're only 60 days into CCDev 2, and their progress is right on schedule," according to an upbeat assessment from Phil McAlister, NASA's acting director, commercial spaceflight development, on the agency's efforts to foster multiple commercial crew orbital transportation services.
In an April 18 announcement, the agency extended awards of $92.3 million to the Boeing Co., of Houston; $80 million to Sierra Nevada Corp., of Louisville, Colo; $75 million to SpaceX, of Hawthorne, Calif; and $22 million to Blue Origin, of Kent Wash.
Here are some of the highlights:
Boeing hosted an independent review of CST-100 vehicle design for overall integration and safety perspectives. A delta Systems Definition Review examined orbital debris protection as well as tank and equipment mounts. A demonstration of the airbag landing system is planned for this summer.
Boeing's CST-100 nears the International Space Station for a docking in this artist's rendering. Image Credit/Boeing
Sierra Nevada kicked off System Requirements Review activities for the Dream Chaser on June 1, including presentations for human ratings certification, risk mitigation and systems engineering management. Future near term activities include assessments of test results for candidate tip fin airfoil materials based on aerodynamic and thermal performance.
Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Nears the ISS. Image Credit/Sierra Nevada
SpaceX plans a July conceptual design review for the Dragon capsule's launch abort system.
SpaceX Dragon spreads solar arrays on orbital mission in this artist's conceptual image. Image Credit/SpaceX.
Blue Origin is looking ahead to a September Mission Concept Review as well as a review of the Reusable Booster System Engine Thrust Chamber Interface Test Plan.