[meteorite-list] NASA Awards Contracts in Next Step Toward Safely Launching American Astronauts From U.S Soil

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 16:42:19 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201212110042.qBB0gJLF005757_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

Dec. 10, 2012

Trent J. Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington
trent.j.perrotto at nasa.gov

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
candrea.k.thomas at nasa.gov

RELEASE: 12-429


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA announced Monday the next step in its
plan to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil, selecting three
companies to conduct activities under contracts that will enable
future certification of commercial spacecraft as safe to carry humans
to the International Space Station.

Advances made by these American companies during the first contract
phase known as the certification products contracts (CPC) will begin
the process of ensuring integrated crew transportation systems will
meet agency safety requirements and standards to launch American
astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States,
ending the agency's reliance on Russia for these transportation
services. The second phase of certification will result in a
separately competed contract.

CPC contractors are:
-- The Boeing Company, Houston, $9,993,000
-- Sierra Nevada Corporation Space System, Louisville, Colo.,
-- Space Exploration technologies Corp., Hawthorne, Calif., $9,589,525

"These contracts represent important progress in restoring human
spaceflight capabilities to the United States," said Phil McAlister,
director of the Commercial Spaceflight Development Division at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "NASA and its industry partners are
committed to the goal of safely and cost-effectively launching
astronauts from home within the next five years."

During the Phase 1 CPC contracts, from Jan. 22, 2013 through May 30,
2014, the companies will work with NASA's Commercial Crew Program
(CCP) to discuss and develop products to implement the agency's
flight safety and performance requirements. This includes
implementation across all aspects of the space system, including the
spacecraft, launch vehicle, and ground and mission operations.

Under the contract, a certification plan will be developed to achieve
safe, crewed missions to the space station. This includes data that
will result in developing engineering standards, tests and analyses
of the crew transportation systems design.

"I congratulate the three companies for their selection," said Ed
Mango, CCP manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "This
is the program's first major, fixed-price contract. The effort will
bring space system designs within NASA's safety and performance
expectations for future flights to the International Space Station."

The second phase of the certification contract, expected to begin in
mid-2014, will involve a full and open competition. It will include
the final development, testing and verifications necessary to allow
crewed demonstration flights to the space station.

NASA is facilitating the development of U.S. commercial crew space
transportation capabilities with the goal of achieving safe, reliable
and cost-effective access to and from low-Earth orbit for potential
future government and commercial customers.

While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop these
capabilities, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and
the Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket
to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed
to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions,
SLS and Orion will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and
enable new missions of exploration in the solar system.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit:


Received on Mon 10 Dec 2012 07:42:19 PM PST

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