Updates NASA's CCDev-2 Program

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Aviation Week: NASA-Backed Space Taxi To Fly Test Mid-2013:
A seven-seat space taxi backed by NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station will make a high-altitude test flight next summer, officials said on Tuesday.

Sierra Nevada Corp’s “Dream Chaser” space plane, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, is one of four space taxis being developed by private industry with backing from the U.S. government.

For the unmanned test flight, it will be carried into the skies by WhiteKnightTwo, the carrier aircraft for the commercial suborbital passenger ship SpaceShipTwo, backed by Virgin Galactic, a U.S. company owned by Richard Branson’s London-based Virgin Group .

The test flight was added after privately held Sierra Nevada got a $25.6-million boost to its existing $80 million contract with NASA.

The test flight will take place from either Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert, or from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Ed Mango, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said at a community briefing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Universe Today: Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser to Conduct Drop Test Next Summer
 

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From Spacex's facebook page

299510_10150885329815131_353851465130_21259221_1492205091_n.jpg


Today, SpaceX announced we have successfully completed the preliminary design review of our revolutionary launch abort system, a system designed for manned missions using the Dragon spacecraft.
(I have no idea what the description has to do with the picture..)

A little too much?
 

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Well, that picture shows the Launch Abort System firing. It just doesn't show it executing an abort.

SpaceX believes that they can use their LAS to land Dragon on Earth and other planets...
 

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From Spacex's facebook page



(I have no idea what the description has to do with the picture..)

A little too much?[/quote]
It's SpaceX's magical multipurpose retrorockets. :P
Here's an article:
[url]http://www.universetoday.com/90100/spacex-completes-crucial-milestone-toward-launching-astronauts/[/url]
 

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Parabolic Arc: Musk, Commercial Space Leaders to Testify Before House Science Committee:
House Science, Space and Technology Committee
“NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program: Accomplishments and Challenges”
Oct. 26, 2011
10 a.m. EDT

Panel 1
  • Mr. John Elbon, Vice President and General Manger, Space Exploration Division, The Boeing Company
  • Mr. Steve Lindsey, Director, Space Exploration, Sierra Nevada Space Systems
  • Mr. Elon Musk, CEO and CTO, Space Exploration Technologies
  • Mr. Charles Precourt, Vice President and General Manager, ATK Space Launch Systems
  • Mr. George Sowers, Vice President, Business Development and Advanced Programs, United Launch Alliance

Panel 2
  • Mr. Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA
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NASA: Commercial Spaceflight - 60 Day Report, Issue 3 (PDF)


Parabolic Arc: NASA’s 60-Day Progress Report on CCDev Milestones:
NASA PR – Over the last two months, NASA’s industry partners demonstrated substantial progress toward achieving crewed spaceflight in the middle of the decade by completing six more Space Act Agreement milestones. In just six short months since the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 partners were selected, they have completed 21 of the 57 planned milestones.


CCDev milestone progress as of Oct. 21, 2011. (Credit: NASA)​

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Parabolic Arc: NASA Safety Panel: Commercial Crew Program Underfunded:
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Funding for NASA’s commercial crew space transportation services initiative appears headed for funding problems that could undermine the agency’s efforts to regain the independent U.S. human launch capability that lapsed with the shuttle program’s retirement earlier this year, members of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) warned Oct. 21….

“If America wants a solid space program, it has to be a priority,” says Joseph Dyer, the retired U.S. Navy vice admiral who chairs the eight-member panel. The ASAP met at the Johnson Space Center this week for briefings on the agency’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) 2 initiative and other safety concerns.​

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NASA: CCP and Excalibur Sign Space Act Agreement:
NASA's Commercial Crew Program is entering into an unfunded Space Act Agreement with Excalibur Almaz, Incorporated (EAI) as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) activities.

The unfunded Space Act Agreement with EAI establishes a framework to enable NASA to collaborate with EAI in furthering the development EAI's spacecraft concept for low Earth orbit crew transportation. EAI's concept for commercial crew to the International Space Station is to use the company's planned tourist space vehicle in concert with an intermediate stage and fly the integrated vehicle on a commercially available launch vehicle to be determined in the near future.

"We are pleased to add Excalibur Almaz to the group of CCDev2 companies and look forward to a productive partnership," said Brent Jett, Commercial Crew Program deputy manager.

As part of this Space Act Agreement, EAI will conduct several reviews. These will include reviews of systems requirements status, launch vehicle compatibility, testing plans and status, and overall status of the design, operational and facilities plans, and integration status. NASA will participate in these reviews by providing expert feedback based on 50 years of spaceflight experience. NASA and EAI plan to kick-off these activities this month, and milestones are planned to continue through May 2012.

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Parabolic Arc: Excalibur Almaz Signs Unfunded SAA With NASA on CCDev

Florida Today - The Flame Trench:
 

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Florida Today - The Flame Trench: Excalibur Almaz joins commercial crew program:
NASA's roster of partners developing commercial vehicles to fly astronauts has expanded to include Houston-based Excalibur Almaz, Inc., which plans to fly upgraded versions of capsules originally designed to serve Soviet military space stations.

almaz-rrv.jpg

The new partners signed a Space Act Agreement that includes no NASA funding but allows collaboration between engineering teams.

A NASA statement says the company's system for flying crews to the International Space Station would use its planned reusable, three-person space tourist vehicle with an intermediate stage, flown on a commercially available launch vehicle to be determined.

Excalibur Almaz is the seventh company to partner with NASA in the second round of the Commercial Crew Development program, or CCDev-2.

The agency has funded agreements worth about $270 million this year with spacecraft developers Blue Origin, The Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corp. and SpaceX, and unfunded agreements with launch vehicle providers ATK and United Launch Alliance.

"We are pleased to add Excalibur Almaz to the group of CCDev-2 companies and look forward to a productive partnership," said Brent Jett, deputy manager of the Commercial Crew Program.

Excalibur Almaz's senior management includes Leroy Chao, a former NASA shuttle astronaut, ISS commander and member of the Augustine Committee whose recommendations encouraged a U.S. policy shift to flying crews commercially.

Under the agreement, NASA said the company would perform reviews by May 2012 of systems requirements status, launch vehicle compatibility, testing plans and status, and overall status of the design, operational and facilities plans, and integration status.

NASA will provide feedback and limited technical support.

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Aviation Week: Soviet Hardware Enters NASA CCDev Initiative
 

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Wow, there are resurrecting old projects ! Almaz... :blink:
 

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Parabolic Arc: Astronauts Support Strong Commercial Crew Program:
A group of 23 former astronauts has sent a letter to Congress urging full funding for NASA’s CCDev program. An excerpt:

“Because Commercial Crew is so important for NASAʼs future, we believe it should be fully funded and kept as one of NASAʼs top near-term priorities. Funding Commercial Crew at least at the Authorization Act level of $500 million will mean less reliance on Russia and a stronger space program here at home, and funding Commercial Crew at NASAʼs requested level of $850 million will enable these commercial vehicles to be developed on an even more expeditious basis. More robust funding for Commercial Crew will ensure that we get more use out of the Space Station, by getting Americans back up into space faster.”

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Parabolic Arc: Congressional Spending Plan Slashes CCDev Request by 52 Percent:
Lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a NASA budget that will provide $406 million to the Commercial Crew Development program, a 52 percent decrease from the $850 million requested by the Obama Administration. The amount exactly splits the difference between the $312 million the House proposed and the $500 million the Senate wanted to spend.

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Florida Today - The Flame Trench: Commercial crew funding far short of target
 
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