Poll

Which companies will receive major funded CCtCap awards?

Boeing
8 (2.1%)
Sierra Nevada
4 (1%)
SpaceX
14 (3.6%)
Other entity
0 (0%)
Boeing & Sierra Nevada
13 (3.4%)
Boeing & SpaceX
68 (17.5%)
Sierra Nevada & SpaceX
253 (65.2%)
Boeing & other entity
1 (0.3%)
Sierra Nevada & other entity
1 (0.3%)
SpaceX & other entity
15 (3.9%)
Boeing, Sierra Nevada & SpaceX
10 (2.6%)
None of the above
1 (0.3%)

Total Members Voted: 388

Voting closed: 09/02/2014 01:02 pm


Author Topic: Commercial Crew Downselect  (Read 61977 times)

Offline Proponent

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Commercial Crew Downselect
« on: 08/26/2014 01:02 pm »
I can't believe nobody's yet created a poll on the outcome of the downselect.


Given the potential for ambiguous outcomes, let me specify that "major" means of dollar amount at least half that awarded to the winner of the largest contract.


Given the seemingly imminent but uncertain timing of the awards, let's say the poll closes the sooner of 1) the time the awards are announced and 2) 7 days from now.


Explanatory posts are encouraged, especially those voting for an "other entity" or for "none of the above."

Offline tesla

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #1 on: 08/26/2014 01:04 pm »
very good poll! :D
Go SLS and Orion! God bless America.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #2 on: 08/26/2014 02:09 pm »
I voted SNC and SpaceX. I think that DC will win for the same reason that DC won in prior rounds because it is not a capsule and NASA likes the idea of having dissimilar spacecrafts. The fact that LM is now part of the Dream Chaser Team also helps DC. Out of the current three providers, DC is my favourite spacecraft but SpaceX is my favourite company.  I expect that Blue Origin will continue to work with NASA on an unfunded basis.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 02:13 pm by yg1968 »

Online Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #3 on: 08/26/2014 02:29 pm »
I voted Boeing and SpaceX.
SpaceX for the usual reasons (already sending cargo to ISS, Dragon V2 hardware at advanced stage). Boeing because, though they might be "powerpoint tigers", their experience with operations (e.g. Space Shuttle work, X-37B, ISS's prime contractor) leads me to believe that their paperwork is the best in the game and that NASA can have very high confidence in them.

I think that DC will win for the same reason that DC won in prior rounds because it is not a capsule and NASA likes the idea of having dissimilar spacecrafts.
I never understood that argument. If somebody (say, Boeing + SpaceX) can argue that a capsule shape is safer, simpler and cheaper than a winged craft, then DC being "dissimilar" could be a negative.
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Online abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #4 on: 08/26/2014 02:32 pm »
Voted with my head, not my heart.  SpaceX seems to be the furthest along and will have a price advantage, they also have the advantage of the precursor capsule getting to the station right now.  I don't think those factors can be overlooked.  Boeing has a solid design and enormous resources and far more flight heritage compared to the others.  I expect that for CCtCAP Boeing will commit to a larger percentage of the funding than they did for CCiCAP, since the winner will be guaranteed at least two flights purchased, and barring some catastrophe will likely be awarded 1/2 of Commercial Crew flights for the duration of the first contract, at least.

I really want to see Dream Chaser included for a lot of reasons.  They've made a lot of right moves and the spacecraft seems to be a real gem.  I have a sinking feeling that the propulsion issue that appears to be brewing under the surface is going to ding them and drop them a little bit below Boeing.  And despite their "dream team" I don't think they can really compete with Boeing with regards to financial resources.

Regardless of who is chosen, I'm really excited about the possibility that we will have at least two independent systems of getting astros to LEO moving forward.

I hope they announce soon, I am ready to stop talking (and predicting) about who will be moving on and start seeing some action instead.

Online Barrie

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #5 on: 08/26/2014 02:48 pm »
Dragon and DreamChaser.  If you can't make a surefire case that one approach is intrinsically better than the other, then funding diversity is the right thing to do.  The future will be served by a mixed fleet, we tried the 'one vehicle can do everything' approach...

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #6 on: 08/26/2014 02:52 pm »
I voted Boeing and Sierra Nevada.
The reasonning goes as follows.

I assume two companies will be selected.

US already is developing a large capsule- Orion.
a second capsule for LEO missions could be added. But three capsules make little sense: I believe NASA want to encourage proliferation and differentiation.

so Sierra Nevada will be selected as non-capsule vehicle, likely in second position.
Who will get the first (capsule) position?

I believe will be Boeing and not SpaceX for three reasons, none of them technical.

1) Boeing has a long story of lobbying in the US government and best represents industry's vested interests. Which is good in this US political phase as parties and individual politicians are starting to think "who will fund my re-election campaign?"
 
2) SpaceX has received funding also during resupply missions and the same funding might be extended in the future; so
2a) some people will claim that SpaceX has already received its share of the commercial programme
2b)a "consolation prize" can be easily awarded through extension of ISS resupply missions without request for new funding programmes(as would be necessary for Boeing, which does participate in resupply missions). Extensions for working, existing programmes are easy to be obtained than funding for brand new programmes;
2c) the "consolation prize" will be decided and attributed during the next presidential campaign, so providing funding and support for the supercool, fanboi hero and fully private SpaceX will be a winning move hard to criticize in respect than a new, tailor-made programme for Boeing. So choosing Boeing now and provide a consolation prize to spacex later optimizes the political gains of decision makers.

3)differently from Boeing, SpaceX has its own mMars-oriented agenda and has manifested the clear intention to continue to develop for its own purposes the superdraco thrusters anyway, so decision makers may choose Boeing instead to maximise also broad US investment on space technology.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 04:13 pm by francesco nicoli »

Offline German Space Fan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #7 on: 08/26/2014 02:57 pm »
I voted for SpaceX and Boeing. Together theyre a fantastic team: Dragon is because of it's innovations very cheap, CST-100 is because of Boeing's experience very reliable. The DreamChaser will neither be really cheap neither that safe. Of course I do like the DreamChaser, but its not that suited for ISS-crew-exchange. But I hope SNC will receive funding from ESA and/or JAXA. They both are doing studies on it and I really hope they recognize it as an easy way to have an own, affordable manned space access and to serve ATV/HTV know-how. That for the DreamChaser is good.

Offline brihath

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #8 on: 08/26/2014 02:59 pm »
I voted for SNC and SpaceX.  Plusses in my thinking include:
-Dissimilar launch vehicles, thus reducing risk if there is a problem with one of them.
-Both Dragon V2 and Dream Chaser will have the ability to perform precision returns from orbit for experiment samples or bringing back a sick crew member.
-Potential for reduced costs WRT spacecraft recovery, turnaround and relaunch.
-The hardware for these two competitors is further along than Boeing.

These are my opinions only, as I don't have visibility to the full range of CCtCap requirements nor insight to NASA's thinking.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #9 on: 08/26/2014 02:59 pm »
Voted for Boeing
Reason - Business as Usual.

Cynical? Oh yes.
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #10 on: 08/26/2014 03:03 pm »
I think that DC will win for the same reason that DC won in prior rounds because it is not a capsule and NASA likes the idea of having dissimilar spacecrafts.
I never understood that argument. If somebody (say, Boeing + SpaceX) can argue that a capsule shape is safer, simpler and cheaper than a winged craft, then DC being "dissimilar" could be a negative.

You are right the other criteria that you mentioned are more important. But all else being equal, having a dissimilar spacecraft can be a positive. Furthermore, I am not convinced that a capsule is inherently safer, simpler and cheaper than a lifting body.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 03:35 pm by yg1968 »

Offline RDMM2081

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #11 on: 08/26/2014 03:26 pm »
I voted for SpaceX and Sierra Nevada for basically the same reasons listed above, plus one:

Sierra Nevada:  Having diversity among the vehicles is probably seen as a positive to NASA.

SpaceX:  I believe are the farthest along with their design and testing (if they aren't, please just let me slide, let's call it my opinion).  And another part of my opinion is that they are the most likely to launch on time, or close to the projected schedule.  Yes, this is a difficult business and delays are pretty much always expected, and I don't actually expect SpaceX to launch exactly on time, but they seem to have the most momentum towards their goal (again, my opinion) and more open avenues to launching crew to other orbits (DragonRider, Bigelow, eventually Mars)

It will be an exciting announcement for sure!

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #12 on: 08/26/2014 03:44 pm »
 SpX and SNC because
Time to operational capability is now more important than before, in the eyes of the politicos. Dragon and DC appear, from the outside at least, to be further along.
Launch vehicle for DC and CST-100 is big issue, in both cost and political considerations.
Skin in the game, Boeing has the least.
Dissimilar vehicles is something that many here mention as a plus, I'm not so sure but will go with it anyway.




Offline king1999

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #13 on: 08/26/2014 04:25 pm »
SpaceX is a sure bet. NASA can't afford to rely solely on Atlas V.
As to Boeing and SNC, hard to pick. But SNC seems to be capturing public's imagination and its low-G ride is a plus for crew and cargo. So I would vote for them but didn't see the entry before I chose "SpaceX and other". :)
Also I found it odd a lot of people voted for SNC&SPX. Something going on...
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 04:26 pm by king1999 »

Offline Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #14 on: 08/26/2014 04:27 pm »
Also I found it odd a lot of people voted for SNC&SPX. Something going on...

I voted that way, because it's what I WANT to have happen. I debated about whether I should vote the way I THINK it will turn out but I'd rather not think about the US saddled with CST-100 when we could have Dragon instead, so I didn't. YMMV.
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Online Eer

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #15 on: 08/26/2014 04:39 pm »
I went SpX and DC.  I agree that two selections based on Atlas V is unlikely.  That being the case, SpX + one other, and I don't see them selecting two capsules.

Offline Comga

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #16 on: 08/26/2014 04:41 pm »
Voted SNC & SpaceX
NASA can't resist the sexiest / most complex solution.  (I like it too, but have my doubts about execution.)
Launch vehicle diversity is important.
NASA would look silly to ignore a flying capsule and adapted rocket, even if what is flying is a cargo version.  (The Boeing 707 started as a Air Force tanker, IIRC.)
CST-100 is a paper tiger without serious backing.

I see this is the most popular option, >2 out of 3.  Hope it is not just "group-think".

Will the pole be closed right after the announcement, even if that is before Sept 2?   Some people are fanatic about being "right".  Polutes the voting, like the SpaceX launch predictions.  People are still opining on that pole 2/3 of the way through the year. 
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #17 on: 08/26/2014 04:42 pm »
I voted Dragon and Dreamchaser as both systems can use the Falcon 9 rocket, while teh CST-100 is primarily geared to the Atlas and Delta systems.  Whether or not it can be launched on a Falcon 9 is anybody's guess.

But if it can; in theory, so could the Orion system.  Although most likely it would launch on the Falcon Heavy.

The irony of the Falcon series of rockets replacing Atlas, Delta and possibly the SLS, (The former because of engine aquisition issues, the latter due to overall cost) is both amusing and an entire possibility when, and if, the Falcon X and XX are to come on line...
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Offline bad_astra

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #18 on: 08/26/2014 04:42 pm »
-> Dreamchaser fan.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #19 on: 08/26/2014 04:46 pm »
I went SpX and DC.  I agree that two selections based on Atlas V is unlikely.  That being the case, SpX + one other, and I don't see them selecting two capsules.

I tend to agree.  The diversity of landing systems gives advantages for one for Low Earth Orbit flights, while the other could easily be sent on BEO flights.  Having two different systems, in addition to their own Orion Capsule, would give NASA quite a bit of flexibility in what missions can be accomplished with or without the ISS as a base station to work with.
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