NASA has announced which aerospace companies won the four second-round agreements under the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) program. These companies are primarily in what has been dubbed the “NewSpace” arena – with one notable exception. These firms will be awarded different amounts, from a “low” $22 million to a “high” $92 million for their concepts. This money will be allocated aid these companies as they work to develop their proposals.
NASA chose the following firms as winners:
- Blue Origin and granted them $22 million
- Sierra Nevada Corporation with $80
- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) with $75 million
- Boeing with $92.3 million.
“We’re committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “These agreements are significant milestones in NASA’s plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low-Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration.”
CCDev began in 2009; the program was started to motivate aerospace companies to expanding the United States’ manned spaceflight capabilities. CCDev2 was also initiated to help reduce the gap in the country’s human spaceflight abilities (when shuttle Atlantis completes its final mission in July, the U.S. will no longer have the ability to launch astronauts into orbit).
CCDev2 was successful in that a large variety of aerospace firms submitted their proposals for a variety of spacecraft, United Space Alliance, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Boeing, Blue Origin, Alliant Techsystems and Sierra Nevada all offered up ideas. NASA hopes that CCDev2 will help open the spaceflight “door” by having a wider range of spacecraft capable of sending astronauts and material into orbit.
“The next American-flagged vehicle to carry our astronauts into space is going to be a U.S. commercial provider,” said Ed Mango, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager. “The partnerships NASA is forming with industry will support the development of multiple American systems capable of providing future access to low-Earth orbit.”Missions » ISS »