Author Topic: NASA Awards Commercial Crew Program Certification Products Contracts (CPC)  (Read 35643 times)

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 »

Offline 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...

Offline 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

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

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