Author Topic: Orbital and COTS  (Read 2672 times)

Offline PeterAlt

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Orbital and COTS
« on: 03/04/2011 12:53 PM »
I know Orbital has a pretty good success record, but lately - even before today's mishap - they haven't been so lucky. A few months ago, I wondered why NASA was giving SpaceX a difficult time in requiring them to perform three test flights of Dragon, while not making the same requirements for Cygnus - and NASA's refusal to consider the Falcon 9 for science missions until SpaceX had flown it successfully for a few years first. Yesterday Administrator Bolden praised Orbital for their record of successful during his testimony to Congress, as an example of commercial launch services safety applied to crewed commercial.

I guess I'm just ranting about I has been wery

Offline Antares

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Re: Orbital and COTS
« Reply #1 on: 03/04/2011 01:02 PM »
NASA didn't require 3 Demo flights for SpaceX.  SpaceX proposed them.

NASA requires one successful flight before proposing a new rocket so Joe's Rocket Shack can't bid a Powerpoint rocket on real launches.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital and COTS
« Reply #2 on: 03/04/2011 01:42 PM »
I know Orbital has a pretty good success record, but lately - even before today's mishap - they haven't been so lucky. A few months ago, I wondered why NASA was giving SpaceX a difficult time in requiring them to perform three test flights of Dragon, while not making the same requirements for Cygnus - and NASA's refusal to consider the Falcon 9 for science missions until SpaceX had flown it successfully for a few years first. Yesterday Administrator Bolden praised Orbital for their record of successful during his testimony to Congress, as an example of commercial launch services safety applied to crewed commercial.

I guess I'm just ranting about I has been wery

Part of the $300 million for COTS in FY2011 was to add another test flight for Orbital. The appropriation process will determine if there is enough COTS money in FY 2011 for an Orbital COTS-2 test flight. 

You have to remember that Orbital got awarded about $170 million for completion of the original COTS milestones. About $100 million less than SpaceX (SpaceX was awarded $278 million for completion of the original COTS milestones). SpaceX and Orbital each got awarded an additionnal $20 million for new milestones in FY 2011. They will be awarded another $20 million before the end of March. What happens after probably depends on what Congress does with the appropriation bill. 

http://www.space.com/10605-post-nasa-boosted-cots-funding-additional-40-million-october.html 

P.S. The reason that Orbital got less than SpaceX is because Kistler was first awarded COTS funding in 2006. So Orbital got whatever had not already been awarded to Kistler when it won the 2008 COTS competition.   
« Last Edit: 03/04/2011 02:10 PM by yg1968 »

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