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Print 7 comment(s) - last by voodoobunny.. on Aug 7 at 4:12 PM


  (Source: moonandback.com)
Both SpaceX and Boeing received full funding, while Sierra Nevada is considered a backup partner that received half funding

NASA has awarded SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada $1.1 billion over the next 21 months for the next phase of their spacecraft development projects.
 
To break it down a bit further, Boeing received $460 million, SpaceX received $440 million and Sierra Nevada received $212.5 million for their individual space projects. 
 
The three space companies have already received a chunk of money from NASA in earlier development phases, where Boeing was given $131 million, SpaceX received $475 million from separate NASA programs, and Sierra Nevada has got over $125 million. 
 
Now, NASA has moved into its next phase of spacecraft development called Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap). The goal of this new phase is to design an entire launch system consisting of a launch vehicle, the space taxi capsule and ground operations. 
 
Boeing is working on its CST-100 capsule, which can hold seven crewmembers and is ideal for trips to and from the International Space Station (ISS). It reuses current components and architecture from previous capsule designs, meaning NASA can save money when it comes to repairs, and it can launch aboard a variety of rockets. Last year, Boeing chose the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to launch its CST-100 capsule. 
 
"Today's award demonstrates NASA's confidence in Boeing's approach to provide commercial crew transportation services for the ISS," said John Elbon, Boeing vice president and general manager of space exploration. "It is essential for the ISS and the nation that we have adequate funding to move at a rapid pace toward operations so the United States does not continue its dependence on a single system for human access to the ISS."
 
SpaceX's project is the well-known Dragon capsule, which recently launched atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket to the ISS. It made the successful trip in May of this year, delivering supplies to American astronauts at the orbiting space lab. The reusable spacecraft's voyage was a big deal, since it was the first launch of a private company's capsule. It signified the continuance of American space travel, since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011 after 30 years.
 
"SpaceX, along with our partners at NASA, will continue to push the boundaries of space technology to develop the safest, most advanced crew vehicle ever flown," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO.
 
Sierra Nevada received funding for its Dream Chaser space plane, which looks like a smaller version of the space shuttle. Like Boeing's CST-100, the Dream Chaser will also launch atop an Atlas V rocket. 
 
Both SpaceX and Boeing received full funding, while Sierra Nevada is considered a backup partner that received half funding. 
 
"We're very happy with the award," said Mark Sirangelo, chairman of Sierra Nevada Space Systems. "Obviously, more money would have been great."
 
The three aim to launch seven crewmembers in each of their vehicles to the ISS in the near future. How near? Boeing wants to launch a crewed demonstration by late 2016 while SpaceX plans to do the same in 2015. Sierra Nevada aims for 2016 or 2017. It's also important to note that these dates are dependent on how much NASA is willing to hand over in later development phases.

Source: NBC News



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Sierra Nevada?
By Toadster on 8/6/2012 2:56:06 PM , Rating: 5
Cool! Brews in space! No need to ice filter in a vacuum :-)




RE: Sierra Nevada?
By geddarkstorm on 8/6/2012 3:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
That Dream Chaser is a really cool looking in concept. And a fitting name, if we're talking about a space vehicle or certain type of beverage.


RE: Sierra Nevada?
By 4745454b on 8/6/2012 9:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Nice to see I wasn't the only one confused. In my defense I work in Chico so only natural right?


Please revise.
By SlyNine on 8/6/2012 3:26:00 PM , Rating: 3
"The three aim to launch seven crewmembers in each other their vehicles to the ISS in the near future."




glad liberty didnt get funding
By Bubbacub on 8/7/2012 7:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
Im so glad that ATK didnt manage to lobby their way into funding the liberty concept.

ATK lobbying power is partly responsible for the FUBAR state of the SLS i.e. the way senate have effectively mandated that nasa must use ATK built SRB boosters.

they cant compete technology or price wise with the competition so try to buy their way to success with lobbying (i call this type of lobbying corruption - but you can label it as you will).

hopefully the presence of two competitors will limit the ability of pork barrelling politicians to work their evil through spacex, boeing and the other one.




Spaceplane
By Paj on 8/7/2012 11:18:07 AM , Rating: 2
Multi stage vehicles are cool and all, but what we really need is a spaceplane.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-1878...

The Skylon is very, very, very cool.




So much for experience
By voodoobunny on 8/7/2012 4:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
So let me get this straight: Boeing, which has been working on spaceflight for decades, is aiming to put men in space in 2016, but SpaceX which is, what, 5 years old is aiming for 2015?

Way to go, big corporate pork suckers. And huge congratulations to SpaceX and Elon Musk. You da real men!




"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke














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