Author Topic: NASA Awards Commercial Crew Program Certification Products Contracts (CPC)  (Read 35193 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

NASA Awards Contracts in Next Step Toward Safely Launching American Astronauts From U.S. Soil

RELEASE: 12-429

NASA AWARDS CONTRACTS IN NEXT STEP TOWARD SAFELY LAUNCHING AMERICAN ASTRONAUTS FROM U.S. SOIL

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.,
$10,000,000
-- 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:

http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew


-end-

« Last Edit: 12/10/2012 09:40 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline manboy

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This was unexpected.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline tigerade

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Huh?  Is this something different than CCiCap?  What is this?

Offline QuantumG

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These are the contracts for the paperwork for the phase after CCiCap.

Your tax dollars at work.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline joek

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Offline spectre9

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Full and open competition sounds exciting but I read that as "goodbye Dreamchaser"

Thoughts?

Offline joek

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Full and open competition sounds exciting but I read that as "goodbye Dreamchaser"

This award isn't any more reason to count SNC out than they've ever been.   Which is to say, they're still a long shot--no more or less than they were before this award.

It would have been surprising if SNC had not received a CPC award.  If that had happened, your doom-and-gloom might be warranted, and likely time to say goodbye to Dreamchaser.  But I'd reserve that until/if SpaceX or Boeing screws up.

In short, nothing to see here.  The only possible surprise is maybe that ATK did not get an award after they said they would compete.  The only mystery is whether ATK did not submit, or were rejected.  In any case, a topic for a different thread.

Offline Khadgars

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Full and open competition sounds exciting but I read that as "goodbye Dreamchaser"

Thoughts?

You gotta feel NASA must have some nostalgia for DC, hopefully that counts for something  ;)

Offline joek

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You gotta feel NASA must have some nostalgia for DC, hopefully that counts for something  ;)
A cup of coffee--and maybe a doughnut or two on a good day.  Let's face it, Dreamchaser is a long shot.  If we see the promised land of regular and frequent LEO flights, then maybe DC has a shot.

Offline yg1968

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This has been in the works for some time; see:
http://commercialcrew.nasa.gov/page.cfm?ID=48&CFID=921672&CFTOKEN=96875331

It was supposed to be awarded in February 2013. This is earlier than expected. Hopefully, they will post the agreements and the selection statement on the website that you linked above.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2012 02:57 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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I find it unfair that companies such as Blue Origin are unable to get certified by NASA. NASA should have an unfunded process by which other companies are able to get certified.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2012 02:52 PM by yg1968 »

Offline tnphysics

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Is this a step towards manned Dragon?

Offline clongton

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Full and open competition sounds exciting but I read that as "goodbye Dreamchaser"

Why?
Quote
CPC contractors are:
-- The Boeing Company (CST-100), Houston, $9,993,000
-- Sierra Nevada Corporation Space System (DreamChaser), Louisville, Colo., $10,000,000
-- Space Exploration technologies Corp. (Dragon), Hawthorne, Calif., $9,589,525

emphasized additions are mine
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline john smith 19

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Is this a step towards manned Dragon?
Yes.
All 3 companies have designed vehicles to meet (in theory) the relevant NASA standards.

This paperwork will lay out (in detail) how they will prove to NASA that relevant build standards will be met. An exaggerated example would be a standard that specifies something can only be made of a certain alloy. How will you prove that (and only that) material was used?

It will also lay out how the finished components will be tested (Not just the Dragon capsule but other stuff) to confirm it is to coin a phrase "fit for purpose."

Interestingly SNC despite only a 1/2 award for the actual design work get a near equal amount to the other bidders.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline truth is life

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Interestingly SNC despite only a 1/2 award for the actual design work get a near equal amount to the other bidders.

Actually, the most (okay, by a measly $7000, but still...)

Offline john smith 19

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Interestingly SNC despite only a 1/2 award for the actual design work get a near equal amount to the other bidders.

Actually, the most (okay, by a measly $7000, but still...)
Given the size of their award on the last funding round every little helps.  :)
It does send a message that NASA is serious about retaining SNC as a backup and while I'm sure NASA don't expect problems with either Spacex or Boeing there will be a backup if they under perform in delivery.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline spectre9

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I thought Dream Chaser has to make up the gap themselves with private money?

Still got time to do so?

Fair enough, I'm not trying to get them killed I just recognise that this is an uphill battle for them compared to the other 2 and should be treated as such.

Hanging by a thread even with the 800m funding, gone without it.

Offline Todd Martin

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Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) becomes less of a longshot every day.  As the designs mature, the scoring between the competition becomes less about risk and more about price and performance.

I believe that at the end of the day, NASA will fund 2 companies to provide commercial crew just like they did for commercial cargo.  It is an easy argument to make that relying on one company is a bad idea.

Boeing can't rely on its name and reputation to be a shoe in.  Dreamchaser has a lot going for it.

Offline spectre9

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Strange post considering price and performance is where DC has less chance of competing because of wings and the limited performance of Atlas V 402.

Online Elmar Moelzer

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I think the advantages of the DC are mission flexibility. From what I understand, it can do a lot of things the capsules cant. It is IMHO undersold as a taxi to the ISS.

Offline Jim

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Dreamchaser has a lot going for it.

Based on what?  What does it have "going for it"?  And why it is better than what Boeing and Spacex have "going for them"?

Offline Jim

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I think the advantages of the DC are mission flexibility. From what I understand, it can do a lot of things the capsules cant. It is IMHO undersold as a taxi to the ISS.

What is "a lot"?

Online Elmar Moelzer

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According to Sirangelo, it can go several hundred miles above the ISS and do servicing missions.
It has low g reentry. It has a signifficant cross range and it can land on a runway. Since it does not use hypergolics, it can land on any commercial airport and does not need special handling with people wearing ABC suits.
Now you may not call these "a lot", I do.

Offline clongton

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According to Sirangelo, it can go several hundred miles above the ISS and do servicing missions.
It has low g reentry. It has a signifficant cross range and it can land on a runway. Since it does not use hypergolics, it can land on any commercial airport and does not need special handling with people wearing ABC suits.
Now you may not call these "a lot", I do.


It can return significant mass to the ground - components for repair, science racks too big for the capsule's hatch, etc.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline erioladastra

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I find it unfair that companies such as Blue Origin are unable to get certified by NASA. NASA should have an unfunded process by which other companies are able to get certified.

The point is to accelerate the certification of a vehicle after CDR.  Blue Origin won't have a CDR any where near the NASA need dates.  Since Congress has made it clear that this is not a job or create an industry program and there is limited $, it doesn'tmake sense to fun companies like Blue.

Offline erioladastra

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These are the contracts for the paperwork for the phase after CCiCap.

Your tax dollars at work.



Far more than paperwork.  It also opens a channel which discussions can occur on requirements and maybe even waivers or lack there of (i.e., you WILL meet that one) to be agreed to.  very important if this project is going to be anywhere near on time.

Offline Jim

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According to Sirangelo, it can go several hundred miles above the ISS and do servicing missions.
It has low g reentry. It has a signifficant cross range and it can land on a runway. Since it does not use hypergolics, it can land on any commercial airport and does not need special handling with people wearing ABC suits.
Now you may not call these "a lot", I do.


It can return significant mass to the ground - components for repair, science racks too big for the capsule's hatch, etc.

No, it does not have a payload bay, it has the same cargo constraints as the others

Offline QuantumG

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These are the contracts for the paperwork for the phase after CCiCap.

Your tax dollars at work.



Far more than paperwork.  It also opens a channel which discussions can occur on requirements and maybe even waivers or lack there of (i.e., you WILL meet that one) to be agreed to.  very important if this project is going to be anywhere near on time.

Yeah, paperwork. NASA knows best.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Jim

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According to Sirangelo, it can go several hundred miles above the ISS and do servicing missions.
It has low g reentry. It has a signifficant cross range and it can land on a runway. Since it does not use hypergolics, it can land on any commercial airport and does not need special handling with people wearing ABC suits.
Now you may not call these "a lot", I do.


The several hundred miles is not unique and neither is servicing.  All the vehicle can do it.

The others are not requirements and actually are impediments

Offline Jim

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These are the contracts for the paperwork for the phase after CCiCap.

Your tax dollars at work.



Far more than paperwork.  It also opens a channel which discussions can occur on requirements and maybe even waivers or lack there of (i.e., you WILL meet that one) to be agreed to.  very important if this project is going to be anywhere near on time.

Yeah, paperwork. NASA knows best.

Says the pot.

Do you know a better way?
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 01:59 AM by Jim »

Online Elmar Moelzer

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According to Sirangelo, it can go several hundred miles above the ISS and do servicing missions.
It has low g reentry. It has a signifficant cross range and it can land on a runway. Since it does not use hypergolics, it can land on any commercial airport and does not need special handling with people wearing ABC suits.
Now you may not call these "a lot", I do.


The several hundred miles is not unique and neither is servicing.  All the vehicle can do it.

The others are not requirements and actually are impediments
I was simply quoting Sirangelo. These features are not requirements for commercial crew transport to the ISS. That was my original point. The DC can do more than just that.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 02:12 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Online Elmar Moelzer

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No, it does not have a payload bay, it has the same cargo constraints as the others
I have to find the exact quote again, but it has been quoted as having advantages over the capsules in these regards. I remember that distinctly.
It may be that this was quoted wrongly originally, but I do have a link with Sirangelo's exact quote regarding the higher orbits and other advantages that I mentioned. Now Sirangelo may be overselling here, but I have not seen any material from you that says so.
Reading up on it again, it seems that Mark Sirangelo was referring to having several variations of the DC, one for cargo and one with an airlock in a space vidcast interview.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 02:32 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline Jim

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but I have not seen any material from you that says so.
Reading up on it again, it seems that Mark Sirangelo was referring to having several variations of the DC, one for cargo and one with an airlock in a space vidcast interview.


I am my own source.

The other spacecraft can have other variations too.

Offline Jim

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The DC can do more than just that.
Same goes for the others

Offline joek

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I have to find the exact quote again, but it has been quoted as having advantages over the capsules in these regards.
With respect to cargo, you may be thinking of something similar to the following (emphasis added)...
Quote from: CCiCap Selection Statement
The use of a winged lifting body offers low entry and landing g-forces, which can be easier on humans and can enable more science payloads that require a smoother landing to be brought back from space ...
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 02:40 AM by joek »

Offline QuantumG

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Says the pot.

Do you know a better way?

Yes, it's called the free market.

You get paid for actually delivering a product and if the customer doesn't like what you offer, they're free to go elsewhere.

I really don't know why it is so unreasonable to expect NASA to just say "we'll buy seats, when can you have them ready?" and just ride.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Jim

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Yes, it's called the free market.

You get paid for actually delivering a product and if the customer doesn't like what you offer, they're free to go elsewhere.

I really don't know why it is so unreasonable to expect NASA to just say "we'll buy seats, when can you have them ready?" and just ride.


It isn't the free market, when the market doesn't exist.
The gov't doesn't work that way when it has to create the market.  There are rules imposed by the gov't that NASA has to work under.

This is no different than the DOD asking for a design of a cargo plane.   The DOD does use the free market for passenger planes because the market exists independently of the DOD.  There are no existing operational crew vehicles that meet any of NASA or even FAA requirements.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 03:22 AM by Jim »

Offline QuantumG

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It isn't the free market, when the market doesn't exist.

Very true.

Quote
The gov't doesn't work that way when it has to create the market.  There are rules imposed by the gov't that NASA has to work under.

NASA is the government.. complaining that the government has to work under the government's rules is just stating a truism.

Quote
This is no different than the DOD asking for a design of a cargo plane.

Yes, the DoD is also the government.. you're still stating a truism.

Quote
The DOD does use the free market for passenger planes because the market exists independently of the DOD.

And, of course, this just magically happened.

Quote
There are no existing operational crew vehicles that meet any of NASA or even FAA requirements.

And there never will be so long as the requirements are worked out by $10M contracts, negotiation, waivers and "we'll get back to you".

Have a look at the airmail act someday. It was deceptively simple and created the aforementioned private market. Also, in case you're not up to date, the Senate has made it clear that NASA is not trying to create a private market for crew vehicles. That's why this process has turned into another smorgeous board.
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Online Elmar Moelzer

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Yes. among other things. The reentry forces are only 1.5g and it can land at any commercial airport. For the rest, I have only quoted what Sirangelo said. If he doubts what Sirangelo is saying, maybe he should go after him then. Of course, it may also be that Jim is wrong. After all, the only source he has to quote is himself. So that puts word against word. I believe that Sirangelo knows more about his own spacecraft than Jim does. So I choose to believe him until Jim brings me some convincing facts that say otherwise. And yes, I am enjoying purposely giving Jim a hard time here ;)

I have to find the exact quote again, but it has been quoted as having advantages over the capsules in these regards.
With respect to cargo, you may be thinking of something similar to the following (emphasis added)...
Quote from: CCiCap Selection Statement
The use of a winged lifting body offers low entry and landing g-forces, which can be easier on humans and can enable more science payloads that require a smoother landing to be brought back from space ...

Offline Jim

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Yes. among other things. The reentry forces are only 1.5g and it can land at any commercial airport. For the rest, I have only quoted what Sirangelo said. If he doubts what Sirangelo is saying, maybe he should go after him then. Of course, it may also be that Jim is wrong. After all, the only source he has to quote is himself. So that puts word against word. I believe that Sirangelo knows more about his own spacecraft than Jim does. So I choose to believe him until Jim brings me some convincing facts that say otherwise. And yes, I am enjoying purposely giving Jim a hard time here ;)


Once again, you are wrong.
Sirangelo doesn't know the capabilities of the other spacecraft (much like you) and that was the point.  It doesn't have any advantage as far as orbital altitude or additional missions.

I only go after people who don't know what they are talking about, which seems to be a pattern here.

Online Elmar Moelzer

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Once again, you are wrong.
Sirangelo doesn't know the capabilities of the other spacecraft (much like you) and that was the point.  It doesn't have any advantage as far as orbital altitude or additional missions.

I only go after people who don't know what they are talking about, which seems to be a pattern here.


So, the other spacecraft will have reentry forces of less than 1.5 g?
The other spacecraft have cross range? The other spacecraft can land on a runway?
I think Dragon might(!) be able to land on a runway once they got the propulsive landing down, but I doubt they will ever get permission to do that.

Offline Garrett

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Interestingly SNC despite only a 1/2 award for the actual design work get a near equal amount to the other bidders.

They all got $10m, give or take a couple of grand. As far as I understand it, this is a paperwork contract, and I would intuitively imagine that the costs of paperwork would be of similar magnitude for each company's launch vechicle.
Based on that interpretation, it would probably have been more interesting if the amounts were significantly different from one another.
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline Comga

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Interestingly SNC despite only a 1/2 award for the actual design work get a near equal amount to the other bidders.

They all got $10m, give or take a couple of grand. As far as I understand it, this is a paperwork contract, and I would intuitively imagine that the costs of paperwork would be of similar magnitude for each company's launch vechicle.
Based on that interpretation, it would probably have been more interesting if the amounts were significantly different from one another.

I find the award amounts very curious.
Quote
CPC contractors are:
-- Space Exploration technologies Corp. (Dragon), Hawthorne, Calif., $9,589,525
-- The Boeing Company (CST-100), Houston, $9,993,000
-- Sierra Nevada Corporation Space System (DreamChaser), Louisville, Colo., $10,000,000

The SpaceX amount is specified to the dollar, and a half $M lower than the others.
The Boeing amount is rounded to the thousands.
The SNC funding is an extremely round number with seven zeros.
What is THAT about?
It would seem to me to represent the level of detail each company was able to use to define the effort, with SNC being unable to be specific.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Jim

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Can you read?  I said "It doesn't have any advantage as far as orbital altitude or additional missions."

And yes, the other spacecraft do have cross range.  All lifting bodies do, it is just matter of amount. 

Anyways, low g-forces and runway landing are not NASA requirements and therefore have no bearing on whether SNC will be selected.
I think it is YOU who should brush up on reading skills. My original point (which you have chosen to disregard so gracefully) was that the DC is theoretically capable of things that go beyond being a mere taxi to the ISS for NASA. .

And you didn't read my response, the others are just as capable of doing more different missions too.

Offline rushdrums

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Can you read?  I said "It doesn't have any advantage as far as orbital altitude or additional missions."

And yes, the other spacecraft do have cross range.  All lifting bodies do, it is just matter of amount. 

Anyways, low g-forces and runway landing are not NASA requirements and therefore have no bearing on whether SNC will be selected.
I think it is YOU who should brush up on reading skills. My original point (which you have chosen to disregard so gracefully) was that the DC is theoretically capable of things that go beyond being a mere taxi to the ISS for NASA. .

And you didn't read my response, the others are just as capable of doing more different missions too.

No matter what the facts and specs are (over and above meeting NASA requirements), and no matter what everyone's opinions are....it comes down to "Can you meet the performance goals in the timeframe requested using the money NASA gave you, plus your other $$ sources to complete all of the milestones?"

Doesn't matter if it comes with a coffee maker option. Has it met all milestones when the deadline comes? If yes, then you'll be considered for a possible contract (no guarantees). If not, nice try. Keep working and come see us sometime later on down the road...

I hope we can all agree on that.



-Rush
..
« Last Edit: 12/13/2012 12:56 AM by Chris Bergin »

Online Elmar Moelzer

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Quote
And you didn't read my response, the others are just as capable of doing more different missions too.

Dragon at least, not so sure about the CSt 100...
Still, the DC is more capable than what is needed for commercial crew. That was my point. You can twist that any which way you want, it still is a fact.
That is completely independent of whether NASA needs it, or wants it, etc.

Offline yg1968

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I agree with QuantumG, I wish commercial crew had followed the COTS-D model. COTS-D was underfunded but it didn't have a certification phase. If a certification phase is absolutely necessary, it should be as light as possible. As far as politics, there is already a government option as a back up if required. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible. I get the feeling that the CPC phase qualifies as a light certification phase. But phase 2 of certification worries me as it seems a lot more intrusive. Incidentally, I don't think that DOD contracts are a model for efficiency and should not be the model for defining what commercial crew should be.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 09:01 PM by yg1968 »

Online Elmar Moelzer

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I agree with QuantumG, I wish commercial crew had followed the COTS-D model. COTS-D was underfunded but it didn't have a certification phase. If a certification phase is absolutely necessary, it should be as light as possible. As far as politics, there is already a government option as a back up if required. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible. I get the feeling that the CPC phase qualifies as a light certification phase. But phase 2 of certification worries me as it seems a lot more intrusive. Incidentally, I don't think that DOD contracts are a model for effeciency and should not be the model for defining what commercial crew should be.
I agree with that as well.

Offline SpaceDave

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Says the pot.

Do you know a better way?

Yes, it's called the free market.

You get paid for actually delivering a product and if the customer doesn't like what you offer, they're free to go elsewhere.

I really don't know why it is so unreasonable to expect NASA to just say "we'll buy seats, when can you have them ready?" and just ride.


Do you think private companies acting in the free market typically contract with each other on that basis? Or individuals, for that matter? (Have you actually read the fine print on your airline ticket?)

Everyone has paperwork. While government has more than most, there is no monopoly on it.

Offline Jim

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. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible.

Are you saying you want it different from CRS and NLS?

Offline yg1968

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. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible.

Are you saying you want it different from CRS and NLS?

No, I meant the development phase should have used the COTS model with no certification phase. If a certification phase is required, I would make it as lite as possible.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2012 09:03 PM by yg1968 »

Offline RocketEconomist327

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. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible.

Are you saying you want it different from CRS and NLS?

No, I meant the development phase should have used the COTS model with no certification phase. If a certification phase is required, I would make it as lite as possible.

That is what is being executed right now yg1968.  We are still using SAAs for CCiCap.  However, in the next phase we will be shifting to some bastardized version of the FAR (may the lord bless us and keep us).  You will see costs for development and certification go up.

How much?  No one knows.  The lawyers still haven't shown us the way ahead, but promise us they can modify the FAR to do so.

Maybe MSFC can just release what "human rating" really is, but they cannot.  The people at MSFC know, but we cannot.  We must take our best, educated guess, at what the rocket wizards in Alabama want and then pray they don't start chasing rainbows again.

Hopefully, we get through CCiCap with at least two competitors who can fly Americans.  It is looking pretty good from where I sit.

VR
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline yg1968

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An earlier version of the human rating requirements for commercial crew was released in 2011 to the public. See this thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26489.msg795150#msg795150

As far as adapting FAR to be more like SAAs, it had been proposed under the now withdrawn CCIDC phase (which was the FAR equivalent to CCiCap which was proposed on September 16, 2011 but withdrawn on December of that same year). But I haven't heard anything about adapting FAR to be more like SAAs for certification.
« Last Edit: 12/13/2012 05:14 PM by yg1968 »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Development is being performed using SAA under CCDevs.  So the FAR contracts only cover 'off the shelf' products and services.  I hope the right type of FAR are picked/written.

Offline erioladastra

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I agree with QuantumG, I wish commercial crew had followed the COTS-D model. COTS-D was underfunded but it didn't have a certification phase. If a certification phase is absolutely necessary, it should be as light as possible. As far as politics, there is already a government option as a back up if required. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible. I get the feeling that the CPC phase qualifies as a light certification phase. But phase 2 of certification worries me as it seems a lot more intrusive. Incidentally, I don't think that DOD contracts are a model for effeciency and should not be the model for defining what commercial crew should be.
I agree with that as well.

Something to keep in mind is that the environment is a bit different between commercial crew and COTS.  Right now you have a very strong political influence (hence why we have 2.5 companies in iCAP vice 2.0 or 1.0) and you also have a very, VERY uncertain funding situation.  Therefore the current SAA, CPC and future planning ar being structure for maiximum flexibility within the constraints of politics, desires of NASA, desires of the companies...

Online Elmar Moelzer

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Something to keep in mind is that the environment is a bit different between commercial crew and COTS.  Right now you have a very strong political influence (hence why we have 2.5 companies in iCAP vice 2.0 or 1.0) and you also have a very, VERY uncertain funding situation.  Therefore the current SAA, CPC and future planning ar being structure for maiximum flexibility within the constraints of politics, desires of NASA, desires of the companies...
I think that the political lobbying is responsible for the funding for commercial crew to be so tight (and more money going to the SLS).
I wished they had more money for commercial crew and would be able to keep 4 companies fully funded, instead of just 2.5. Competition is a good thing.

Offline Jim

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I wished they had more money for commercial crew and would be able to keep 4 companies fully funded, instead of just 2.5. Competition is a good thing.

And do what with them after they are developed?  NASA's flight rate doesn't support that many

Online Elmar Moelzer

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And do what with them after they are developed?  NASA's flight rate doesn't support that many
I would get all of them going until they are fully developed and then do some test missions. Afterwards choose the ones that suit NASA best.
The other finalists could still serve as a backup option of sorts or may find commercial customers. NASA is not the only one who will need flights. Eventually there will be Bigelow and then there are companies like Golden Spike. Blue Origin seems to think hat they will find a market for their LV and space craft...
Competition is good. There is good reason for hope that it will drive innovation. Some of the companies that were not chosen might try to become more competitive by improving their designs or finding ways to lower the cost.
« Last Edit: 12/14/2012 01:47 PM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline Jim

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And do what with them after they are developed?  NASA's flight rate doesn't support that many
I would get all of them going until they are fully developed and then do some test missions. Afterwards choose the ones that suit NASA best.
The other finalists could still serve as a backup option of sorts or may find commercial customers. NASA is not the only one who will need flights. Eventually there will be Bigelow and then there are companies like Golden Spike. Blue Origin seems to think hat they will find a market for their LV and space craft...
Competition is good. There is good reason for hope that it will drive innovation. Some of the companies that were not chosen might try to become more competitive by improving their designs or finding ways to lower the cost.

And that is totally unrealistic on many levels, from available money both from the gov't and public sector, also,  overly optimistic on the market.

Also NASA isn't developing them for other users, nor should they.

Online Elmar Moelzer

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And that is totally unrealistic on many levels, from available money both from the gov't and public sector, also,  overly optimistic on the market.

Also NASA isn't developing them for other users, nor should they.

Some people say that there would be enough money if it was not spent on the SLS.
NASA should be very interested in nurturing a private space industry with many comparably low cost options to choose from.

Online wolfpack

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NASA should be very interested in nurturing a private space industry with many comparably low cost options to choose from.

They are. But their charter is really more along the lines of developing the technology and then gifting it to industry rather than being essentially venture capitalists.

While I may agree that the SLS is unnecessary, I'd rather see that money go into development of spacecraft that can be lofted by existing EELVs.

Online Elmar Moelzer

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But their charter is really more along the lines of developing the technology and then gifting it to industry rather than being essentially venture capitalists.

While I may agree that the SLS is unnecessary, I'd rather see that money go into development of spacecraft that can be lofted by existing EELVs.
Well, I think that NASA should be developing new state of the art technologies that can be licensed by the industry providing NASA with launchers and spacecraft. I do however not think that NASA should be directly developing launchers and spacecraft.

Online wolfpack

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I do however not think that NASA should be directly developing launchers and spacecraft.

Launchers, no. Spacecraft, yes. Private industry is going to develop LEO spacecraft, not BEO (despite what Elon says). NASA needs to be working on the technology to actually get somewhere. Astronauts are not going to be stuffed in an Orion for 6 month stretches. They're going to need a habitat module. If we go NEA, they're going to need an exploration vehicle. If we intend to land on Mars, then we need an ascent/descent vehicle. Lost of juicy design work that doesn't involve bolting old SSME's to the bottom of an ET sandwiched between two giant roman candles.

Offline Robotbeat

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If there are already spacecraft available, NASA should use them. But not otherwise. NASA certainly shouldn't just develop their own launcher, IMHO, because of the enormous infrastructure costs and fact that such infrastructure WILL do most of its time rusting in the elements if it is a NASA-developed launcher (since NASA doesn't do commercial payloads anymore nor military ones and since NASA's budget is minimal).

Even if NASA does develop its own spacecraft when others are available, though, that's a much smaller infrastructure burden than a launch vehicle.

NASA needs to be building that SEV and a lander and a Deep Space Hab and a large propulsion module. That is stuff that will take longer for the private sector to have available. And even now, there still isn't a private manned capsule available, though that will hopefully change soon.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Comga

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Launchers, no. Spacecraft, yes. Private industry is going to develop LEO spacecraft, not BEO (despite what Elon says).

And you have thought about this more carefully and with better support than Elon Musk because.....

Let's all please show some modesty.  And stay on topic.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline AnalogMan

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... The only possible surprise is maybe that ATK did not get an award after they said they would compete.  The only mystery is whether ATK did not submit, or were rejected.  In any case, a topic for a different thread.

The only proposals received by the deadline were from the three companies that were awarded contracts.

Offline clongton

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NASA should be very interested in nurturing a private space industry with many comparably low cost options to choose from.

No. That is not part of the NASA Charter. Any interest NASA has in commercial capabilities is to fulfill a very specific and narrow NASA need. Nurturing a private industry along is totally beyond what NASA is tasked to do. Might as well insist that a shipbuilder help a housing contractor get his business underway.

NASA specific needs and a totally separate commercial industry are 2 completely different animals. Commercial companies outside the NASA needs scope need to put their own money into their business ventures, or seek venture capital, just like every other startup in history. Government money is not for business development.
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Offline QuantumG

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No. That is not part of the NASA Charter. Any interest NASA has in commercial capabilities is to fulfill a very specific and narrow NASA need. Nurturing a private industry along is totally beyond what NASA is tasked to do.

Have you even read the space act?

Quote
(c) Commercial Use of Space.--Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the Administration seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space.

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/ogc/about/space_act1.html

Quote
NASA specific needs and a totally separate commercial industry are 2 completely different animals.

Agreed.

Quote
Commercial companies outside the NASA needs scope need to put their own money into their business ventures, or seek venture capital, just like every other startup in history. Government money is not for business development.

Agreed.

Unfortunately, the beloved geniuses in Congress don't agree and have chartered NASA with "nurturing" private industry.. this never ends well.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Online Elmar Moelzer

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No. That is not part of the NASA Charter. Any interest NASA has in commercial capabilities is to fulfill a very specific and narrow NASA need. Nurturing a private industry along is totally beyond what NASA is tasked to do.

Have you even read the space act?

Quote
(c) Commercial Use of Space.--Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the Administration seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space.

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/ogc/about/space_act1.html

Quote
NASA specific needs and a totally separate commercial industry are 2 completely different animals.

Agreed.

Quote
Commercial companies outside the NASA needs scope need to put their own money into their business ventures, or seek venture capital, just like every other startup in history. Government money is not for business development.

Agreed.

Unfortunately, the beloved geniuses in Congress don't agree and have chartered NASA with "nurturing" private industry.. this never ends well.

The problem is that this only works when there is not unfair competition from cost plus government projects like the SLS.
It makes investment into private space very risky for a venture capitalist, if there is the chance for a government subsidized competition.

Offline QuantumG

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The problem is that this only works when there is not unfair competition from cost plus government projects like the SLS.
It makes investment into private space very risky for a venture capitalist, if there is the chance for a government subsidized competition.

Indeed, and the solution is not to "fight fire with fire", it's to put out the bonfire of taxpayer money.

mmm.. metaphor.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Jim

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The problem is that this only works when there is not unfair competition from cost plus government projects like the SLS.
It makes investment into private space very risky for a venture capitalist, if there is the chance for a government subsidized competition.

More nonsense from the same source.  The contracting mechanism has no bearing on SLS competition for CCP funds nor is SLS competing with CCP for missions.  SLS is not going to be used for ISS servicing.  Changing SLS to fixed price would not free up any real amount of money
« Last Edit: 12/15/2012 02:20 AM by Jim »

Offline QuantumG

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I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he meant the psychological competition. Whether we like it or not, people see the commercial crew providers as "competing" with SLS and the rest of the government program.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Online Elmar Moelzer

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I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he meant the psychological competition. Whether we like it or not, people see the commercial crew providers as "competing" with SLS and the rest of the government program.
Exactly! Plus certain public figures like to spin things in an unfavorable way for private companies (and startups in particular) in the space industry. They have deliberately tried to the sell the SLS to the public as a "backup for commercial crew" (even though that cant be for so many reasons).
All this makes it much harder to get private investment in an industry that is already very hard to be successful in and that requires A LOT of money invested up front.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2012 02:52 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline yg1968

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I agree with QuantumG, I wish commercial crew had followed the COTS-D model. COTS-D was underfunded but it didn't have a certification phase. If a certification phase is absolutely necessary, it should be as light as possible. As far as politics, there is already a government option as a back up if required. Commercial crew should remain "as commercial" as possible with NASA having as little oversight as possible. I get the feeling that the CPC phase qualifies as a light certification phase. But phase 2 of certification worries me as it seems a lot more intrusive. Incidentally, I don't think that DOD contracts are a model for effeciency and should not be the model for defining what commercial crew should be.
I agree with that as well.

Something to keep in mind is that the environment is a bit different between commercial crew and COTS.  Right now you have a very strong political influence (hence why we have 2.5 companies in iCAP vice 2.0 or 1.0) and you also have a very, VERY uncertain funding situation.  Therefore the current SAA, CPC and future planning ar being structure for maiximum flexibility within the constraints of politics, desires of NASA, desires of the companies...

Yes that's a good point (about the process being flexible) and it's also a point that you have made in the past. There is still time to adopt a lite certification second phase (without development) and continue with the CCiCap optional milestones for the remaining development. But the only problem is that the proposals for phase 2 of certification are currently projected to be due in November 2013 which isn't that far away. 
« Last Edit: 12/15/2012 05:09 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 12/22/2012 02:12 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Here are the highlights from the CPC selection statement.

-NASA only received proposals for CPC from Boeing, SNC and SpaceX.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of acceptable for Technical Acceptability.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of reasonable for Price.

-Boeing and SpaceX got high level of confidence ratings for Past Performance.

-SNC got a moderate level of confidence rating for Past Performance.

-On SNC, Gerst says that he "concluded that although some of SNC's past performance was in system-level work and more was in element-level work, it was pertinent to the CPC requirements and was effectively performed. The rating of moderate for SNC was appropriate and directly supported by the findings."

-See pages 5 and 8 of the CPC Selection Statement for the discussion on Past Performance for each company.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2012 03:09 PM by yg1968 »

Offline BrightLight

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Here are the highlights from the CPC selection statement.

-NASA only received proposals for CPC from Boeing, SNC and SpaceX.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of acceptable for Technical Acceptability.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of reasonable for Price.

-Boeing and SpaceX got high level of confidence ratings for Past Performance.

-SNC got a moderate level of confidence rating for Past Performance.

-On SNC, Gerst says that he "concluded that although some of SNC's past performance was in system-level work and more was in element-level work, it was pertinent to the CPC requirements and was effectively performed. The rating of moderate for SNC was appropriate and directly supported by the findings."

-See pages 5 and 8 of the CPC Selection Statement for the discussion on Past Performance for each company.
I don't understand the term moderate in this context, did SNC perform poorly in documenting there analysis?

Offline yg1968

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The moderate rating is explained on page 4. I think that it has more to do with whether SNC's past experiences are relevant for the CPC work.

Offline john smith 19

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I don't understand the term moderate in this context, did SNC perform poorly in documenting there analysis?

I think "past performance" in this context means building a vehicle that survived reentry. Boeing (and it's predecessor companies) and Spacex have, SNC AFAIK have not (in a complete system. I'm sure they have supplied sub-systems for various reentry applications).
« Last Edit: 12/24/2012 08:27 PM by john smith 19 »
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline erioladastra

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Here are the highlights from the CPC selection statement.

-NASA only received proposals for CPC from Boeing, SNC and SpaceX.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of acceptable for Technical Acceptability.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of reasonable for Price.

-Boeing and SpaceX got high level of confidence ratings for Past Performance.

-SNC got a moderate level of confidence rating for Past Performance.

-On SNC, Gerst says that he "concluded that although some of SNC's past performance was in system-level work and more was in element-level work, it was pertinent to the CPC requirements and was effectively performed. The rating of moderate for SNC was appropriate and directly supported by the findings."

-See pages 5 and 8 of the CPC Selection Statement for the discussion on Past Performance for each company.
I don't understand the term moderate in this context, did SNC perform poorly in documenting there analysis?

There have been issues during CCDEv2.

Offline BrightLight

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Here are the highlights from the CPC selection statement.

-NASA only received proposals for CPC from Boeing, SNC and SpaceX.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of acceptable for Technical Acceptability.

-Boeing, SNC and SpaceX received ratings of reasonable for Price.

-Boeing and SpaceX got high level of confidence ratings for Past Performance.

-SNC got a moderate level of confidence rating for Past Performance.

-On SNC, Gerst says that he "concluded that although some of SNC's past performance was in system-level work and more was in element-level work, it was pertinent to the CPC requirements and was effectively performed. The rating of moderate for SNC was appropriate and directly supported by the findings."

-See pages 5 and 8 of the CPC Selection Statement for the discussion on Past Performance for each company.
I don't understand the term moderate in this context, did SNC perform poorly in documenting there analysis?

There have been issues during CCDEv2.
Coy for the new year - would it be possible to give some outline of the issues; what, why, how did SNC fix there problems or what are the problems?

Offline yg1968

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Offline mlindner

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My hope for this process is that during the CPC the companies do not sacrifice the cost of their design for NASA paperwork. If the choice comes down to abiding by NASA's overly strict rules and increasing cost vs keeping a cheap design and giving up on the contract, I hope the companies take the latter.

This was the part of commercial crew that I have been most worried about regardless of the technical capabilities of the individual companies. I know Elon Musk stated that if CCiCap was not under SAA then he said "We may not bid on it," so we will see what happens. If the dialogue is two-way then SpaceX may be able to combat the restrictions.
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Offline Jim

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My hope for this process is that during the CPC the companies do not sacrifice the cost of their design for NASA paperwork. If the choice comes down to abiding by NASA's overly strict rules and increasing cost vs keeping a cheap design and giving up on the contract, I hope the companies take the latter.

And then there won't be anybody producing spacecraft

Offline mlindner

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My hope for this process is that during the CPC the companies do not sacrifice the cost of their design for NASA paperwork. If the choice comes down to abiding by NASA's overly strict rules and increasing cost vs keeping a cheap design and giving up on the contract, I hope the companies take the latter.

And then there won't be anybody producing spacecraft

While unfortunate I think that is preferable to the U.S. repeating the path of overly expensive vehicles that prevent innovation. SpaceX will still have their Falcon 9/H launch vehicles and revenue sources and while it will delay commercial crew flight, it will not prevent it. I doubt Boeing will make that choice as they are a traditional government contractor so they would continue forward regardless of an SAA or not. I'm not very familiar with SNC though.
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Offline john smith 19

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If the choice comes down to abiding by NASA's overly strict rules
My (somewhat limited) understanding of this contract is for the companies to define alternative processes and standards that will meet the spirit of the NASA requirements without needing their processes and methods to be expensively redesigned in order the letter of the standards. Hopefully this will lower the admin burden on the companies. Their designs are not "NASA standard" but meet NASA standards.

Quote
This was the part of commercial crew that I have been most worried about regardless of the technical capabilities of the individual companies. I know Elon Musk stated that if CCiCap was not under SAA then he said "We may not bid on it," so we will see what happens. If the dialogue is two-way then SpaceX may be able to combat the restrictions.
An issue for all the competitors who are looking for a contract, not a programme.
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Offline Jim

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My hope for this process is that during the CPC the companies do not sacrifice the cost of their design for NASA paperwork. If the choice comes down to abiding by NASA's overly strict rules and increasing cost vs keeping a cheap design and giving up on the contract, I hope the companies take the latter.

And then there won't be anybody producing spacecraft

While unfortunate I think that is preferable to the U.S. repeating the path of overly expensive vehicles that prevent innovation. SpaceX will still have their Falcon 9/H launch vehicles and revenue sources and while it will delay commercial crew flight, it will not prevent it. I doubt Boeing will make that choice as they are a traditional government contractor so they would continue forward regardless of an SAA or not. I'm not very familiar with SNC though.

Nonsense.  Something is better than nothing.  Also, crew vehicles are not going to be innovation catalyst.  Again, Spacex still isn't a given.  It is moving towards a traditional gov contractor. 
« Last Edit: 01/29/2013 11:32 PM by Jim »

Offline yg1968

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I know Elon Musk stated that if CCiCap was not under SAA then he said "We may not bid on it," so we will see what happens. If the dialogue is two-way then SpaceX may be able to combat the restrictions.

We will never know for sure but I think that SpaceX was concerned about preserving its intellectual property. NASA sometimes requires the rights to the IP (especially under traditional contracts). Chairman Wolf was "concerned" about NASA not getting any IP rights under commercial crew. If NASA were to ask for IP rights in the next round, I have no doubt that SpaceX would walk away from the funding. But I seriously doubt that they will ask for it.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2013 11:35 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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  Again, Spacex still isn't a given.  It is moving towards a traditional gov contractor. 

I am not sure what you mean by this sentence. Do you mean to say that SpaceX is becoming a traditional government contractor?

Offline Jim

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  Again, Spacex still isn't a given.  It is moving towards a traditional gov contractor. 

I am not sure what you mean by this sentence. Do you mean to say that SpaceX is becoming a traditional government contractor?

It has the same contracts as ULA.

Offline joek

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It has the same contracts as ULA.

That's painting with a very broad brush.  There are as many differences as similarities (at least at this time).  E.g., SpaceX has CRS and ULA does not; ULA has ELC and SpaceX does not.

Offline Jim

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It has the same contracts as ULA.

That's painting with a very broad brush.  There are as many differences as similarities (at least at this time).  E.g., SpaceX has CRS and ULA does not; ULA has ELC and SpaceX does not.

Spacex had COTS.
Besides, all of ULA's contracts are fixed price.
« Last Edit: 01/30/2013 02:31 AM by Jim »

Offline joek

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Spacex had COTS.
Besides, all of ULA's contracts are fixed price.

Agree if we went through the list we'd find many other differences in number, types and values of contracts.  Suffice it to say that SpaceX is a major US gov contractor, as is ULA--and both have drunk from the government well.  (The relative value each have provided in return is another discussion probably best left for the space policy section.)

Also, ULA ELC contract is cost-plus not fixed price, and fixed price does not necessarily mean competitive (e.g., DoD buys may be fixed price, but have not been competitive).


edit: clarify ULA ELC contract type.
« Last Edit: 01/30/2013 05:38 AM by joek »

Offline simonbp

It has the same contracts as ULA.

ULA has commercial GEO launch contracts? ;)

Maybe better to say SpaceX is becoming what the ULA predecessor companies were, adept at both government and commercial contracts, while ULA is now a government-only house.
« Last Edit: 01/30/2013 02:25 PM by simonbp »

Offline yg1968

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Also, ULA ELC contract is cost-plus not fixed price, and fixed price does not necessarily mean competitive (e.g., DoD buys may be fixed price, but have not been competitive).

Just on this topic, these articles explain how the ELC contract works. The ELC contract is the contract that ULA gets every year for about $1.2B per year for its fixed costs (e.g., infrastructure, launch pads and range). 

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=5207&page=1
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-28/news/sns-rt-lockheed-boeinglaunchesurgentl1e8kskce-20120928_1_joint-venture-delta-iv-atlas-v-rockets
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11641.pdf
http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/593048.pdf

Quote
In March 2005, DOD revised the EELV acquisition strategy to reflect the changes in the commercial market and the new role of the government as the primary EELV customer. This revised strategy provided two contracts each—Launch Capability and Launch Services—to Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the two launch service providers. The EELV Launch Capability cost-plus award fee contract was primarily for launch infrastructure (such as launch pads and ranges) and labor, while the EELV Launch Services firm-fixed price contract with a mission success incentive provision, was for launch services, including vehicle production.
« Last Edit: 01/30/2013 02:27 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Jim

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When Spacex gets an EELV contract, they will also get an ELS type contract.

Offline yg1968

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When Spacex gets an EELV contract, they will also get an ELS type contract.

Will it also get a (cost-plus) ELC contract for its fixed costs?
« Last Edit: 01/30/2013 02:31 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Jim

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When Spacex gets an EELV contract, they will also get an ELS type contract.

Will it also get a (cost-plus) ELC contract for its fixed costs?

I meant ELC.  The USAF asks for a lot of different things

Offline mlindner

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When Spacex gets an EELV contract, they will also get an ELS type contract.

Will it also get a (cost-plus) ELC contract for its fixed costs?

I meant ELC.  The USAF asks for a lot of different things

We'll see. If they do it will be a case of the pot calling the kettle black considering how much Elon has ranted against cost-plus contracts. Elon is very big on PR so I somehow doubt that he would accept such a contract.
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Offline Jim

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We'll see. If they do it will be a case of the pot calling the kettle black considering how much Elon has ranted against cost-plus contracts. Elon is very big on PR so I somehow doubt that he would accept such a contract.

Elon says a lot of things that don't come true.
Part of the ELC costs are payload organization dependent and that is where the plus part comes in.

Offline Garrett

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... Elon has ranted against cost-plus contracts. Elon is very big on PR so I somehow doubt that he would accept such a contract.

One can rant against something and still accept to have to do business with that something. It's not contradictory, it's working with reality. Elon's real rant is against cost-plus style contracts for human and cargo transport to space. I don't think Elon really cares much that the USAF prefers the cost-plus approach because he is well aware of the gap in requirements between commercial transport and national security
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Offline mlindner

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We'll see. If they do it will be a case of the pot calling the kettle black considering how much Elon has ranted against cost-plus contracts. Elon is very big on PR so I somehow doubt that he would accept such a contract.

Elon says a lot of things that don't come true.
Part of the ELC costs are payload organization dependent and that is where the plus part comes in.

I've yet to see him rant multiple times against something and then to 180 and say that it's a good idea.
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Offline dcporter

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I've yet to see him rant multiple times against something and then to 180 and say that it's a good idea.

Taking money from NASA





[citation needed]
« Last Edit: 01/31/2013 04:59 PM by dcporter »

Offline peter-b

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I've yet to see him rant multiple times against something and then to 180 and say that it's a good idea.

Taking money from NASA
Citation needed.
Research Scientist (Sensors), Sharp Laboratories of Europe, UK

Offline simonbp

Yeah, I distinctly recall them saying back before they got COTS that the hope was to get both government and commercial contracts, they just didn't want to be totally dependent on the government money. At the time, I think that was more a snipe at Orbital, but it's since become true of ULA too.

Indeed, the Falcon 1 flights were largely funded by USAF.

Offline beancounter

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Yeah, I distinctly recall them saying back before they got COTS that the hope was to get both government and commercial contracts, they just didn't want to be totally dependent on the government money. At the time, I think that was more a snipe at Orbital, but it's since become true of ULA too.

Indeed, the Falcon 1 flights were largely funded by USAF.

Source please since I believe that only one flight carried a USAF satellite.

Beancounter from DownUnder

Offline Jim

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Yeah, I distinctly recall them saying back before they got COTS that the hope was to get both government and commercial contracts, they just didn't want to be totally dependent on the government money. At the time, I think that was more a snipe at Orbital, but it's since become true of ULA too.

Indeed, the Falcon 1 flights were largely funded by USAF.

Source please since I believe that only one flight carried a USAF satellite.



DARPA provided some funding too

Offline AnalogMan

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NASA Certification Phase in Motion
Fri, 15 Feb 2013 09:51:16 PM GMT

NASA's Certification Products Contracts (CPC) are officially under way as the agency took the early part of this year to lay out its expectations moving forward with The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) during kickoff meetings. Throughout CPC, each company will begin the process of ensuring their integrated crew transportation systems can meet NASA's flight safety and performance requirements for missions to the International Space Station.
They'll deliver their own certification plans, their plans to verify and validate their systems are safe, hazard analysis reports and any proposed alternate standards to NASA's Commercial Crew Program for review. Those products will delve into all aspects of their systems, including spacecraft, launch vehicles, and ground and mission operations.

Offline mlindner

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It somehow annoys me how they call paperwork, "products." Like its something thats able to be sold.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2013 12:18 AM by mlindner »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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It somehow annoys me how they call paperwork, "products." Like its something thats able to be sold.

The CCDev companies are selling the US Government paperwork.  This is standard practice on government contracts.  Although NASA is being a little odd in actually reading the documents.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2013 07:35 AM by A_M_Swallow »

Offline Lee Jay

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It somehow annoys me how they call paperwork, "products." Like its something thats able to be sold.

Text books are products.  Analysis reports are products.  Reference sources are products.

Offline Jim

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It somehow annoys me how they call paperwork, "products." Like its something thats able to be sold.

That is what you buy in a study contract.

Offline MP99

It somehow annoys me how they call paperwork, "products." Like its something thats able to be sold.

As I understand it, those "products" should ultimately codify certification standards which meet the intent of NASA's Human-Rating standards, but in a way which is more appropriate for the CCiCAP participants.

As such, they would be quite valuable to the CCiCAP participants, in terms of making their lives easier, and presumably reduce the price NASA will need to pay to certify Commercial Crew systems.

That should have substantial value to NASA.

cheers, Martin

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