Commercial Spaceflight Federation Applauds Winners of Round Two of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program

April 18, 2011 by
Filed under: Commercial Space Flight 

Washington, D.C., Monday, April 18, 2011 – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates NASA’s announcement today to award a total of $269 million through NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Round Two (“CCDev2”) Program.  The winners include CSF members Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX.  The Commercial Spaceflight Federation would also like to congratulate the Boeing team that includes CSF Member Bigelow Aerospace.  The awards will allow US commercial companies to achieve critical milestones on the path to achieving commercial human spaceflight capabilities, thereby enabling America to end America’s reliance on Russian vehicles to send humans to space, lower costs to the U.S. taxpayer, replace some of the capabilities of the Space Shuttle when it retires later this year, and help spur new technology innovation and job growth in the U.S. space industry.

The CCDev2 program represents the continuation of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (“COTS”) Cargo and CCDev programs, under which companies have been developing various commercial launch vehicles and spacecraft. Awards will take the form of milestone-based, fixed-price, pay-for-performance NASA investment using Space Act Agreements instead of traditional government contracts.  The program will culminate in a Commercial Crew Program in which companies will demonstrate the capability of taking NASA crews to and from the International Space Station.

“Today is a landmark day for commercial spaceflight.  This is a big step towards opening up the space frontier,” said John Gedmark, Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.  “Leveraging private investment is the only way NASA can make its dollars go farther in these times of belt tightening.  And by investing in commercial spaceflight rather than continuing to sending billions of dollars to Russia, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is creating American jobs instead of sending them abroad.”

“Today’s announcement marks a critical milestone on the path to a commercial human spaceflight sector that will lower the cost of space access and open new markets,” said Eric Anderson, Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.  “To have a large and diverse group of U.S. companies among today’s winners, including both established contractors and newer entrants, emphasizes that American industry is ready to handle the task of commercial human spaceflight—safely, affordably, and rapidly. We expect immediate job creation across the United States, including in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, and Washington state.”

Anderson added, “A major advantage of commercial spaceflight programs over traditional NASA procurements is that the CCDev program is commercially structured so that NASA pays only when performance milestones are met.  These agreements are fixed-price, milestone-based, and leverage private investment.  These companies are investing their own money alongside NASA’s money adding even more investment in the final system.  Each taxpayer dollar goes farther.”

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to congratulate:

• Blue Origin of Kent, Washington, which will receive $22 million for orbital commercial spaceflight vehicle design and development, including testing of its pusher escape system and engine testing.

• Sierra Nevada Corporation of Louisville, Colorado, which will receive $80 million to mature the Dream Chaser human spaceflight system, focusing on multiple spacecraft items.

• SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, which flew its Dragon capsule to orbit and recovered it successfully last year, which will receive $75 million for items including launch escape system engine maturation and crew accommodation prototype development.

• The Boeing Company of Houston, Texas, whose team includes CSF member Bigelow Aerospace, which will receive $92.3 million for CST-100 crew spacecraft maturation and launch vehicle integration, focusing on multiple items including launch escape system propulsion.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director John Gedmark at john@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.349.1121.

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