Commercial Crew Program
|Purpose||ISS crew transport|
|Part of a series on the|
The Commercial Crew Program (CCP) provides commercially-operated crew transportation service to and from the International Space Station (ISS) under contract to NASA, conducting crew rotations between the expeditions of the International Space Station program. American space manufacturer SpaceX began providing service in 2020, using the Crew Dragon spacecraft, and NASA plans to add Boeing when its Boeing Starliner spacecraft becomes operational some time after 2022. NASA has contracted for six operational missions from Boeing and fourteen from SpaceX, ensuring sufficient support for ISS through 2030.
The spacecraft are owned and operated by the vendor, and crew transportation is provided to NASA as a commercial service. Each mission sends up to four astronauts to the ISS, with an option for a fifth passenger available. Operational flights occur approximately once every six months for missions that last for approximately six months. A spacecraft remains docked to the ISS during its mission, and missions usually overlap by at least a few days. Between the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011 and the first operational CCP mission in 2020, NASA relied on the Soyuz program to transport its astronauts to the ISS.
A Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched to space atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 launch vehicle and the capsule returns to Earth via splashdown in the ocean near Florida. The program's first operational mission, SpaceX Crew-1, launched on 16 November 2020. Boeing Starliner spacecraft will participate after its final test flight, launched atop an Atlas V N22 launch vehicle. Instead of a splashdown, a Starliner capsule will return on land with airbags at one of four designated sites in the western United States.
Development of the Commercial Crew Program began in 2011 as NASA shifted from internal development of crewed vehicles to perform ISS crew rotation to commercial industry development of transport to the ISS. A series of open competitions over the following two years saw successful bids from Boeing, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada, and SpaceX to develop proposals for ISS crew transport vehicles. In 2014, NASA awarded separate fixed-price contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to develop their respective systems and to fly astronauts to the ISS. Each contract required four successful demonstrations to achieve human rating for the system: pad abort, uncrewed orbital test, launch abort, and crewed orbital test. Operational missions were initially planned to begin in 2017, with missions alternating between the two providers. Delays required NASA to purchase additional seats on Soyuz spacecraft up to Soyuz MS-17 until Crew Dragon missions commenced in 2020. Crew Dragon continues to handle all missions until Starliner becomes operational some time after 2022.
In 2004, the Aldridge Commission – established by President George W. Bush following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster – called for crewed flights to the Moon with a Crew Exploration Vehicle in its final report. Following the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, the Constellation program was established, which envisioned a revised Crew Exploration Vehicle named Orion conducting crew rotation flights to the International Space Station (ISS) in addition to its lunar exploration goals. Orion superseded the Orbital Space Plane, which was specifically designed for ISS crew rotation. In 2009, the Augustine Commission appointed by President Barack Obama found that the program's funding and resources were insufficient to execute its goals without significant delays to its schedule and an increase of US$3 billion in funding, which prompted NASA to start considering alternatives to the program. The Constellation program was officially cancelled in 2010, with NASA repurposing Orion for exploration beyond Earth, and collaborating with commercial partners for ISS crew rotation and other crewed activities in low Earth orbit following the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. This arrangement would additionally end NASA's dependency on Roscosmos' Soyuz program to deliver its astronauts to the ISS.
The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 allocated US$1.3 billion for an expansion of the existing Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program over three years. While the program's first round of competition in 2010 focused on funding development of various human spaceflight technologies in the private sector as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, its second round, CCDev 2, focused on proposals for spacecraft capable of shuttling astronauts to and from the ISS. The competition for CCDev 2 funding concluded in April 2011, with Blue Origin receiving US$22 million to develop its biconic nose cone capsule concept, SpaceX receiving US$75 million to develop a crewed version of their Dragon spacecraft and a human-rated Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the Sierra Nevada Corporation receiving US$80 million to develop the Dream Chaser, and Boeing receiving US$92.3 million to develop the CST-100 Starliner. SpaceX had previously been contracted by NASA to operate ISS resupply flights with their Dragon spacecraft, as part of NASA's Commercial Resupply Services. The program's third round, Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap), aimed to financially support the development of winning proposals over 21 months through to May 2014, in preparation for crewed missions to the ISS within five years. Despite winning awards in CCDev 1 and CCDev 2, Blue Origin decided against competing in CCiCap, opting instead to rely on private investment from their owner, Jeff Bezos, to continue development on crewed spaceflight. The competition for CCiCap funding ended in August 2012, with US$212.5 million allocated to Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser, US$440 million allocated to SpaceX's Crew Dragon, and US$460 million allocated to Boeing's Starliner. While Alliant Techsystems's integrated Liberty launch vehicle and spacecraft was a finalist, it was rejected due to concerns about the lack of detail in Alliant Techsystems's proposal.
In December 2012, the three CCiCap winners were each given an additional USD$10 million in funding as the first of two series of "certification products contracts" (CPC) to allow for further testing, engineering standards, and design analysis to meet NASA's safety requirements for crewed spaceflight. The second CPC series manifested as Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap), the final phase of the CCDev program, where NASA would certify an operator to run crewed flights to the ISS through an open competition. The window for proposal submissions was closed on 22 January 2014. Sierra Nevada announced a week later that a privately-funded orbital test flight of a Dream Chaser spacecraft, using an Atlas V launch vehicle intended to be purchased by Sierra Nevada, was planned to occur on 1 November 2016. On 16 September 2014, CCtCap concluded with SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner being the sole winners, with SpaceX receiving US$2.6 billion contract and Boeing a US$4.2 billion contract. Sierra Nevada filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in response, citing "serious questions and inconsistencies in the source selection process." The United States Court of Federal Claims upheld a decision to allow development of the Crew Dragon and Starliner to proceed during the protest, citing concerns for crewed operations of the ISS in the event of a delay to the Commercial Crew Program. The GAO declined Sierra Nevada's protest in January 2015, stating that evidence gathered by the GAO discredited Sierra Nevada's claims against NASA; Sierra Nevada accepted the decision. The company laid off 90 staff members working on the Dream Chaser following the CCtCap result, and repurposed the spacecraft as a for-hire vehicle for commercial spaceflight. A cargo variant of the Dream Chaser would later be developed and selected by NASA to fly uncrewed resupply missions to the ISS under a Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract.
While the first flights of Commercial Crew Program were originally intended to be launched by the end of 2017, Boeing announced in May 2016 that their first crewed flight would be delayed to 2018 due to issues related to Starliner's Atlas V N22 launch vehicle. In December 2016, SpaceX announced their first crewed flights would also be delayed to 2018, following the loss of AMOS-6 in an accidental launch pad explosion of a Falcon 9, the Crew Dragon's launch vehicle. With no further flights in the Soyuz program for American astronauts past 2018, the GAO expressed concerns and recommended in February 2017 that NASA develop a plan for crew rotation in the event of further delays. Following the settlement of a lawsuit against Russian space manufacturer Energia over Sea Launch, Boeing received options for up to five seats on Soyuz flights, which NASA purchased from Boeing. NASA announced the astronauts chosen to pilot the Crew Dragon and Starliner vehicles in August 2018, and two months later penned the launch of demonstration missions for the Crew Dragon and Starliner for dates in 2019. The uncrewed SpaceX Demo-1 mission was launched on 2 March 2019, in which a Crew Dragon successfully docked with the ISS and returned to Earth six days after launch. The capsule used in the mission, however, was accidentally destroyed in a static fire test of its SuperDraco engines in April 2019, causing further delays to launch of future Crew Dragon flights. The Boeing Orbital Flight Test and Boeing Crew Flight Test, which had both been delayed due to a failed test of Starliner's abort system, were further pushed without explanation from dates in early-to-mid 2019 to late 2019.
Boeing conducted the Boeing Pad Abort Test in November 2019. NASA accepted the test as successful even though one of three parachutes failed to deploy, since the system landed as designed under two parachutes. Boeing conducted the Orbital Flight Test in December 2019 and encountered major malfunctions of Starliner's software which precluded an intended docking with the ISS and prompted a truncation of the mission. The Orbital Flight Test was declared a "high-visibility close call" by NASA following an independent review,[i] and a second Orbital Flight Test (Boeing OFT-2) was scheduled for July 2021, with Boeing covering the cost of the flight in lieu of additional CCDev funding. Amid further uncertainties about the Commercial Crew Program's progress, NASA purchased a seat on the Soyuz MS-17 mission to ensure participation in Expedition 64 in the event that operational missions in the program are further delayed, with the purchase of additional Soyuz seats beyond MS-17 being described as a possibility. The SpaceX In-Flight Abort Test was successfully conducted in January 2020, setting the stage for the final, crewed test flight of Crew Dragon – SpaceX Demo-2 – which launched astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS in May 2020. SpaceX launched its first operational flight, SpaceX Crew-1, on 16 November 2020. It stayed docked to the ISS as planned until 2 May 2021. SpaceX Crew-2 launched on 23 April 2021 and is landed on 9 November 2021, two days before the launch of SpaceX Crew-3. When Boeing OFT-2 was on the pad preparing for launch on 3 August 2021, problems were encountered with 13 valves in the capsule's propulsion system. The launch was scrubbed and the capsule eventually returned to the factory. Analysis of the problem was still underway in September 2021 and launch was postponed indefinitely. This uncrewed test, Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2, launched on 19 May 2022, and landed successfully on 25 May.
On February 28, 2022, NASA announced that it had awarded three additional crew missions to SpaceX bringing the total crew missions for SpaceX to nine and the total contract value to $3,490,872,904. In September 2022, NASA announced yet another addition, this time of five missions, bringing the total to fourteen and the total contract value to $4.93 billion.
The Commercial Crew Program uses the SpaceX Crew Dragon to shuttle astronauts to and from the ISS. The Boeing CST-100 Starliner will join it in this role after it is human-rated. Both spacecraft are automated but can be remotely controlled from the ground or manually controlled by their crew via touch screens in case of an emergency. The crew cabins of both spacecraft feature 11 cubic meters (390 cubic feet) of pressurized volume, and can be configured to carry up to seven crew each, though NASA will only send up to four crew on each mission in the program; an extension to occupy a fifth seat is available to NASA. Both spacecraft can last up to 210 days in space docked to the ISS. In addition, the spacecraft were designed to meet NASA's safety standard of a 1-in-270 chance of catastrophic failure, which is less risky than the 1-in-90 chance of the Space Shuttle.
The spacecraft and the ISS have docking mechanisms that implement the International Docking System Standard (IDSS). The NASA Docking System implementation is used by Starliner and ISS, while Crew Dragon uses a compatible IDSS implementation developed by SpaceX. The IDSS docks are used instead of the Common Berthing Mechanism used by previous Commercial Orbital Transportation Services spacecraft such as the first-generation Dragon.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon is a variant of the company's Dragon 2 class of spacecraft, which is an upgraded version of the first-generation Dragon. It measures 3.7 meters (12 feet) wide, 4.4 meters (14 feet) tall without its trunk, and 7.2 meters (24 feet) with its trunk. While trunks are discarded prior to capsule reentry, crew cabins are designed to be reusable. Alternatively, Crew Dragon spacecraft can be repurposed as uncrewed Cargo Dragon spacecraft for use in SpaceX's Commercial Resupply Services 2 missions, with each capsule capable of being flown up to five times. Crew Dragon spacecraft can spend up to a week in free flight without being docked to the ISS. Each Crew Dragon capsule is equipped with a launch escape system consisting of eight of SpaceX's SuperDraco engines, which provide 71,000 newtons (16,000 pounds-force) of thrust each. These engines were originally intended to also perform a propulsive landing upon return to Earth, with the first test vehicle having been equipped for such capabilities, but these plans were ultimately abandoned in favor of a traditional splashdown return near Florida in either the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. SpaceX's CCtCap contract values each seat on a Crew Dragon flight to be between US$60–67 million on the first six missions, while the face value of each seat has been estimated by NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) to be around US$55 million. Per-mission cost for the first contract extension (missions 7, 8, and 9) is $258.7 million ($64.6 million/seat), and per-mission cost for the second contract extension (missions 10 through 14) is $288 million ($72 million/seat).
Boeing's CST-100 Starliner – "CST" an acronym for "Crew Space Transportation" – measures 4.6 meters (15 feet) in diameter and 5.1 meters (17 feet) in height. The crew module of Starliner can be reused for up to ten flights, while the service module is expended during each flight. Various engines manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne for orbital maneuvering, attitude control, reaction control, and launch escape, are utilized by Starliner. Eight reaction control engines on the spacecraft's crew module and 28 reaction control engines on the spacecraft's service module provide 380 newtons (85 pounds-force) and 445 newtons (100 pounds-force) each, respectively. Also located on the service module, 20 custom-made Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control (OMAC) engines provide 6,700 newtons (1,500 pounds-force) of thrust each, while four RS-88 engines provide 178,000 newtons (40,000 pounds-force) of thrust each in a launch abort scenario. During a nominal flight without a launch abort, Starliner can use unspent fuel reserved for its RS-88 engines to help its OMAC engines perform the orbital insertion burn, following separation from the Centaur upper stage during launch. Once in space, Starliner spacecraft can survive up to 60 hours in free flight. Unlike Crew Dragon, Starliner is designed to return to Earth on land instead of ocean, using airbags to cushion the vehicle's impact with the ground. Four sites in the western contiguous United States – the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, Edwards Air Force Base in California, White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and Willcox Playa in Arizona – will serve as landing ranges for returning Starliner spacecraft, though in an emergency scenario, it is also equipped to perform a splashdown return. Boeing's CCtCap contract values each seat on a CST-100 flight to be between US$91–99 million, while the face value of each seat has been estimated by NASA's OIG to be around US$90 million.
NASA missions to the ISS launch on an average every six months. As part of the original contracts Boeing and SpaceX each were initially contracted for up to six operational flights. NASA later contracted with SpaceX for up to an additional eight flights as a contingency if Starliner is further delayed and to ensure service to the ISS until 2030.
Crew Dragon Missions
SpaceX's Crew-1 mission, the first operational flight in the program, carried Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi, and Shannon Walker to the ISS in November 2020 aboard Resilience. Resilience was originally planned to be used for Crew-2, but was reassigned following a scheduling change resulting from the accidental destruction of C204 during testing. While NASA astronauts were given assignments to either Crew Dragon or Starliner flights, Noguchi – a JAXA astronaut – was open for assignment to whichever spacecraft would launch the first operational mission. With Chris Cassidy having arrived at the ISS during Soyuz MS-16, the arrival of the astronauts aboard Resilience marked the first time since the Space Shuttle program in which the US Orbital Segment of the ISS was completely staffed with four crew. Crew-2 launched in April 2021, using a previously-flown Falcon 9 first-stage booster and a refurbished Crew Dragon for the first time. The mission carried Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet aboard Endeavour. Crew-3 launched in November 2021, carrying Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, Matthias Maurer and Kayla Barron to the ISS, and Crew-4 launched Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti and Jessica Watkins in April 2022. US astronauts Josh Cassada, Nicole Aunapu Mann and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata initially assigned to Starliner crewed flights were re-assigned to Crew-5 mission after delays in the Starliner program. The fourth astronaut on Crew-5 is filled by a Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina and thus becoming to be a part of the Soyuz-Dragon crew swap system, that is, keeping at least one NASA astronaut and one Roscosmos cosmonaut on each of the crew rotation missions. That would ensure both countries would have a presence on the station, and ability to maintain their separate systems, if either Soyuz or commercial crew vehicles are grounded for an extended period.
On 3 December 2021, NASA made clear it would secure up to an additional three flights from SpaceX to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for human access to the space station. The background to this was that SpaceX was likely to launch its sixth flight in early 2023 potentially before Boeing's first operational flight, and NASA concluded that only SpaceX had the capability needed.
NASA and Roscosmos have agreed to an annual seat-swapping agreement for three flights each. In 2022, 2023, and 2024, a Russian cosmonaut will fly on one Crew Dragon flight per year while an American astronaut will fly on one Soyuz flight per year. This arrangement ensures that ISS will have at least one crew member to operate essential services even if one or the other type of spacecraft is grounded.
On 31 August 2022, NASA awarded SpaceX with an additional 5 flights bringing the total number of contracted Crew Dragon flights to 14. The additional flights will run though 2030.
Boeing Starliner Missions
Boeing's first operational mission in the program, Starliner-1, was planned to ferry astronauts Sunita Williams and Jeanette Epps to the ISS in 2022 aboard Calypso. On 18 April 2022, NASA said that it has not finalized which of the cadre of Starliner astronauts, including Barry Wilmore, Michael Fincke, and Sunita Williams, will actually fly on the CFT mission or the first operational Starliner mission. NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps continues to prepare for an upcoming long duration mission aboard Starliner-1. NASA has also identified backup flight opportunities for Epps on the SpaceX Crew Dragon for additional scheduling and resource flexibility. Epps has begun cross-training on the Crew Dragon to prepare for this.
NASA hopes to extend the seat-swapping arrangement with Roscosmos to include Starliner flights after Starliner has enough flights.
Operational CCP missions
|Mission||Patch||Launch date||Launch vehicle[a]||Spacecraft[b]||Duration|
|15 November 2020||Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1061.1)||Crew Dragon (C207.1 Resilience)||167d, 6h, 29m|
|23 April 2021||Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1061.2) ♺||Crew Dragon (C206.2 Endeavour) ♺||199d, 17h, 44m|
|11 November 2021||Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1067.2) ♺||Crew Dragon (C210.1 Endurance)||176d, 2h, 39m|
|27 April 2022||Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1067.4) ♺||Crew Dragon (C211.1 Freedom)||Docked at ISS|
|5 October 2022||Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1077.1)||Crew Dragon (C210.2 Endurance) ♺||In orbit|
|February 2023||Falcon 9 Block 5||Crew Dragon||Planned|
|NET September 2023[c]||Falcon 9 Block 5||Crew Dragon||Planned|
|NET September 2023[c]||Atlas V N22||Boeing Starliner (S2.2) ♺||Planned|
- Serial number displayed in parentheses. Reused boosters are denoted with a recycled symbol ♺
- Launches using reused capsules are denoted with a recycled symbol ♺.
- Crew-7 will fly in September 2023 if Starliner-1 is not ready to fly
The CCP spacecraft missions usually overlap with brief intervals during which two are docked at the same time. Crew-2 did not overlap with Crew-3 because of an unexpected delay in Crew-3 launch.
- Artemis program
- List of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches
- List of human spaceflights to the International Space Station
- List of Atlas launches (2020–2029)
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"We got $25 million from the NASA commercial crew program, and that represents less than 5 percent of what our founder has put into the company," Alexander said. That would mean Bezos' investment in Blue Origin is at least $500 million.
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In the end, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Directorate William Gerstenmaier opted to award Boeing with $460m, SpaceX with $440 and SNC with $212.5m.
- Malik, Tariq (3 August 2012). "NASA Awards $1.1 Billion in Support for 3 Private Space Taxis". Space.com. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
As part of the new agreements, Sierra Nevada will receive $212.5 million, SpaceX will receive $440 million, and Boeing will receive $460 million.
- Gerstenmaier, William H. (10 September 2012). "Selection Statement For Commercial Crew Integrated Capability". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
Four proposals passed the Acceptability Screening and were evaluated by the full PEP [...] ATK Aerospace Systems (ATK)
- Boyle, Alan (19 November 2013). "NASA outlines the final steps in plan for next manned spaceships". NBC News. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
NASA expects the final phase of the competition — known as the Commercial Crew Transport Capability program, or CCtCAP — to result in a fleet of commercial spacecraft that are certified to transport crew by 2017. [...] Those same three companies have already been granted about $10 million each for Phase 1 of the CCtCAP certification process, which focuses on flight safety and performance requirements. [...] NASA said applications for Phase 2 funding should be submitted by Jan. 22.
- Grondin, Yves-A. (5 August 2013). "NASA Outlines its Plans for Commercial Crew Certification". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
...NASA outlined the next phase of its strategy to enable the certification of commercial crew transportation systems to and from the International Space Station (ISS). [...] Phase 1 of the certification strategy, the Certification Products Contract (CPC) phase, was awarded last December to SpaceX, SNC and Boeing for amounts that did not exceed $10 million per company.
- Rutkin, Aviva (27 January 2014). "Mini space shuttle gears up to chase astronaut dreams". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
Engineers at Sierra Nevada Corporation have announced that the Dream Chaser will make its first orbital flight on 1 November 2016. The Dream Chaser will launch attached to an Atlas V rocket...
- Atkinson, Nancy (23 January 2014). "Sierra Nevada Dreamchaser Will Launch on First Orbital Flight Test in November 2016". Universe Today. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
"Today we're very proud to announce that we have now formally negotiated our orbital spaceflight," said Mark Sirangelo, the head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems. "We have acquired an Atlas V rocket and established a launch date of November 1, 2016...
- Associated Press (17 September 2014). "SpaceX, Boeing land NASA contracts to carry astronauts to space". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
On Tuesday, the space agency picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station [...] NASA will pay Boeing $4.2 billion and SpaceX $2.6 billion to certify, test and fly their crew capsules.
- Wall, Mike (17 September 2014). "NASA Picks SpaceX and Boeing to Fly U.S. Astronauts on Private Spaceships". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
SpaceX and Boeing are splitting NASA's $6.8 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability award, or CCtCap [...] SpaceX will get $2.6 billion and Boeing will receive $4.2 billion, officials said.
- Dean, James (26 September 2014). "Sierra Nevada files protest over NASA crew contract". Florida Today. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Sierra Nevada Corp. has protested NASA's award of contracts worth up to $6.8 billion to Boeing and SpaceX to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. The U.S. Government Accountability Office must rule on the legal challenge by Jan. 5. [...] Sierra Nevada cited "serious questions and inconsistencies in the source selection process."
- Keeney, Laura (3 October 2014). "So Sierra Nevada protested NASA space-taxi contract, but what's next?". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Space Systems filed the formal protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Sept. 26 over rejection of its bid for NASA's commercial crew contract to shuttle astronauts to the space station.
- Rhian, Jason (23 October 2014). "Judge allows NASA to move forward on production of Commercial Crew spacecraft". Spaceflight Insider. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Judge Marian Blank Horn of the United States Court of Federal Claims has cleared the way for NASA to proceed with its plans to have Boeing and SpaceX develop their spacecraft under the Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap).
- Dean, James (22 October 2014). "Judge: NASA can move forward with Boeing, SpaceX". USA Today. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
A judge Tuesday allowed NASA to move forward with new contracts to develop private space taxis despite a legal challenge to the deals worth up to $6.8 billion. [...] NASA claimed it "best serves the United States" to enable the commercial crew systems as soon as possible, and that delays to flights planned by 2017 would put the International Space Station at risk.
- Norris, Guy (11 October 2014). "Why NASA Rejected Sierra Nevada's Commercial Crew Vehicle". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA issued a stop-work order to Boeing and SpaceX on Oct 2, only to rescind it a week later on the grounds that a delay to development of the transportation service, "poses risks to the ISS crew, jeopardizes continued operation of the ISS, would delay meeting critical crew size requirements, and may result in the U.S. failing to perform the commitments it made in its international agreements."
- Foust, Jeff (5 January 2015). "GAO Denies Sierra Nevada Protest of Commercial Crew Contract". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
"Based on our review of the issues, we concluded that these arguments were not supported by the evaluation record or by the terms of the solicitation," Smith said in the GAO statement. Sierra Nevada, in a statement issued Jan. 5, accepted the decision by the GAO...
- Dean, James (5 January 2015). "Sierra Nevada loses Commercial Crew contract protest". Florida Today. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
GAO disagreed with Sierra Nevada's arguments about NASA's evaluation [...] Sierra Nevada also claimed NASA did not adequately review the realism of SpaceX's low bid and its financial resources, among several other issues the GAO concluded "were not supported by the evaluation record or by the terms of the solicitation."
- Rhian, Jason (26 September 2014). "SNC lays off staff, files protest over NASA CCP selections, mulls Dream Chaser's future – Update". Spaceflight Insider. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has laid off employees who were working on the company's offering under NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), the Dream Chaser space plane. SNC has also stated that it will continue to develop the spacecraft for possible use with other nations' human-rated space programs...
- SpaceRef staff (25 September 2014). "Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Program to Continue". SpaceRef Business. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Sierra Nevada's Mark Sirangelo told the Denver Post the companies plans to go forward with development of the spacecraft and bid on future contracts. The news companies on the heals [sic] of Sierra Nevada laying off 90 people from the Dream Chaser program.
- Foust, Jeff (25 September 2014). "Sierra Nevada Lays Off Dream Chaser Staff". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
After losing a NASA commercial crew competition earlier this month, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) has laid off about 100 employees who had been working on its Dream Chaser vehicle, the company confirmed Sept. 24.
- Davenport, Christian; Fung, Brian (14 January 2016). "Sierra Nevada Corp. joins SpaceX and Orbital ATK in winning NASA resupply contracts". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
The nation's space agency selected three commercial companies for the next round of missions to resupply the International Space Station, giving a vote of confidence to incumbents SpaceX and Orbital ATK and choosing a new player, Sierra Nevada Corp.
- Calandrelli, Emily (14 January 2016). "NASA Adds Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser To ISS Supply Vehicles". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
The winners, Orbital ATK, SpaceX, and the newcomer Sierra Nevada Corporation, will be responsible for providing new cargo, disposing of unneeded cargo, and safely bringing back research samples from the International Space Station (ISS).
- Foust, Jeff (21 January 2015). "NASA Details Why Boeing, SpaceX Won Commercial Crew". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
SpaceX, though, planned to complete certification earlier than either Boeing or Sierra Nevada, giving it more margin to achieve NASA's goal of certification by the end of 2017.
- Vincent, James (12 May 2016). "Astronauts won't be flying to space in Boeing's Starliner until 2018". The Verge. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Boeing's executive vice president Leanne Caret made the announcement, reports GeekWire, telling investors at a briefing: "We're working toward our first unmanned flight in 2017, followed by a manned astronaut flight in 2018."
- Boyle, Alan (11 May 2016). "Boeing's Starliner schedule for sending astronauts into orbit slips to 2018". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
...it's been working through challenges related to the mass of the spacecraft and aeroacoustic issues related to integration with its United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 launch vehicle. In a follow-up to Caret's comments, Boeing spokeswoman Rebecca Regan told GeekWire that those factors contributed to the schedule slip.
- Boyle, Alan (12 December 2016). "NASA confirms delay in commercial crew flights to 2018, pushing the envelope". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA has confirmed that the commercial space taxis being developed by SpaceX and the Boeing Co. will start carrying astronauts to the International Space Station no earlier than 2018...
- Grush, Loren (12 December 2016). "SpaceX officially delays first crewed flight of its Dragon capsule for NASA". The Verge. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
In the wake of its September 1st rocket explosion, SpaceX has officially delayed the first crewed flight of its Crew Dragon vehicle [...] the first flight of the Crew Dragon with people on board is now slated to take place in May of 2018...
- Malik, Tariq (1 September 2016). "Launchpad Explosion Destroys SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket, Satellite in Florida". Space.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its commercial satellite payload were destroyed by an explosion at their launchpad in Florida early Thursday (Sept. 1) during a typically routine test.
- Berger, Eric (28 January 2017). "Technical troubles likely to delay commercial crew flights until 2019". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA currently has contracts with Russia through 2018 to get its astronauts to the station. However, a delay of test flights into 2019 would necessarily push the first "operational" commercial crew flights into spring or summer of 2019 at a minimum.
- Grush, Loren (16 February 2017). "SpaceX and Boeing probably won't be flying astronauts to the station until 2019, report suggests". The Verge. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Because of the likelihood for delays, the GAO report recommends that NASA come up with a backup plan for getting its astronauts to the ISS beyond 2018.
- Berger, Eric (18 January 2017). "As leadership departs, NASA quietly moves to buy more Soyuz seats". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
a new solicitation filed by NASA on Tuesday reveals that the agency is indeed seeking to purchase Soyuz seats for 2019 (NASA will negotiate with Boeing for these additional seats, which Boeing received from Russia's Energia as compensation for the settlement of a lawsuit involving the Sea Launch joint venture).
- Foust, Jeff (28 February 2017). "NASA signs agreement with Boeing for Soyuz seats". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA has quietly signed a contract with Boeing for up to five additional Soyuz seats to provide for both additional U.S. crewmembers on the International Space Station and margin for commercial crew delays.
- Zraick, Karen (3 August 2018). "NASA Names Astronauts for Boeing and SpaceX Flights to International Space Station". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA has named the astronauts chosen to fly on commercial spacecraft made by Boeing and SpaceX to and from the International Space Station, the research laboratory that orbits around Earth.
- Sheetz, Michael (4 August 2018). "These are the astronauts NASA assigned for SpaceX and Boeing to launch the first crews from the US since 2011". CNBC. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA named five astronauts to the first two Boeing flights and four to the first two SpaceX flights.
- Dean, James (3 August 2018). "NASA names first astronauts to fly SpaceX, Boeing ships from Florida". USA Today. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA on Friday named the astronaut test pilots who will be the first to fly SpaceX and Boeing capsules launched from Florida to the International Space Station, within a year or less, according to updated schedules.
- Harwood, William (4 October 2018). "NASA revises launch targets for Boeing, SpaceX crew ships". CBS News. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
The first unpiloted test flight of a SpaceX commercial Dragon capsule intended to eventually ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station is moving to January, NASA announced Thursday. The first unpiloted test flight of a Boeing Starliner commercial crew ship is now targeted for the March timeframe.
- Agence France-Presse (5 October 2018). "First SpaceX mission with astronauts set for June 2019: NASA". Phys.org. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA has announced the first crewed flight by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to take place in June 2019. [...] A flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019.
- Davis, Jason (2 March 2019). "Crew Dragon Safely on the Way to International Space Station". The Planetary Society. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon has successfully launched on its maiden voyage! The spacecraft lifted off as scheduled on 2 March at 02:49 EST (07:49 UTC).
- Malik, Tariq (8 March 2019). "SpaceX's Crew Dragon Looks Just Like a Toasted Marshmallow After Fiery Re-Entry". Space.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
When SpaceX launched its first Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station last week, the gleaming white vehicle soared into space on its maiden voyage. Now, Crew Dragon is back, and it doesn't look so new. SpaceX's Crew Dragon returned to Earth today (March 8) with a smooth splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean...
- Wattles, Jackie (8 March 2019). "SpaceX Crew Dragon, built to carry humans, returns home from ISS". CNN. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
NASA officials confirmed around 2:30 am ET that the capsule successfully detached from the space station. [...] and it splash down in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 am ET.
- O'Callaghan, Jonathan (22 April 2019). "SpaceX's Crew Dragon Suffers 'Anomaly' And May Have Exploded During A Test". Forbes. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
SpaceX's historic Crew Dragon spacecraft that launched for the first time last month appears to have exploded, according to reports, potentially delaying the return to flight of humans from American soil. On Saturday, April 20, an explosion was reported at a test stand at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- Wall, Mike (21 April 2019). "SpaceX Crew Dragon Accident Another Bump in the Road for Commercial Crew". Space.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Nobody was injured, but the capsule — which flew a successful uncrewed demonstration mission to the International Space Station (ISS) just last month — may have incurred serious damage.
- Berger, Eric (3 May 2019). "Dragon was destroyed just before the firing of its SuperDraco thrusters". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Koenigsmann said the "anomaly" occurred during a series of tests with the spacecraft, approximately one-half second before the firing of the SuperDraco thrusters. At that point, he said, "There was an anomaly and the vehicle was destroyed." [...] Before this accident, SpaceX and NASA had been targeting early October for the first crewed Dragon mission to the station. Now, that will almost certainly be delayed by at least several months into 2020.
- Foust, Jeff (20 August 2019). "Commercial crew providers prepare for fall test flights". SpaceNews. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
However, both an in-flight abort test and the Demo-2 crewed flight test were delayed after the Demo-1 spacecraft, being prepared for the in-flight abort test, was destroyed during preparations for a static-fire test in April at Cape Canaveral.
- Foust, Jeff (2 August 2018). "Boeing delays Starliner uncrewed test flight after abort engine test problem". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Boeing now plans to carry out an uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle late this year or early next year as it addresses a problem found during a recent test of the spacecraft's abort engines. That revised schedule will push back a crewed test flight of the vehicle to the middle of 2019, said John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing's commercial crew program...
- Mosher, Dave (3 August 2018). "Leaky valves on Boeing's new spacecraft are increasing the risk that NASA astronauts could lose access to the space station". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
But the agency is staring down a real possibility that it might not be able to send people into space after next year. That risk likely increased after Boeing discovered a problem in a new spacecraft system the company designed for NASA. The issue – a fuel leak – appeared on June 2, as Ars Technica first reported, when Boeing test-fired four thrusters designed to propel the Starliner away from a potential launchpad emergency.
- Johnson, Eric M. (21 March 2019). "Boeing delays by months test flights for U.S. human space program: sources". Reuters. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Boeing's first test flight was slated for April but it has been pushed to August, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The new schedule means that Boeing's crewed mission, initially scheduled for August, will be delayed until November.
- Haynes, Korey (21 March 2019). "Boeing's Starliner test flight delayed by months". Astronomy. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
...the company will no longer launch an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station in April, Reuters has reported. The flight is being pushed back to August. [...] This Starliner schedule slip will also delay Boeing's first crewed test flight, according to the same reporting, from August to November.
- Joy, Rachel (2 August 2019). "Boeing readies 'astronaut' for likely October test launch". Florida Today. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
...which will fly on the inaugural flight of the Starliner spacecraft now slated to launch late September or early October from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
- Bartels, Meghan (4 November 2019). "Boeing Tests Starliner Spacecraft's Launch Abort System for Rocket Emergencies". Space.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Boeing's CST-100 Starliner crewed vehicle aced a crucial safety test this morning (Nov. 4) in the New Mexico desert.
- Etherington, Darrell (5 November 2019). "Boeing's Starliner crew spacecraft launch pad abort test is a success". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
NASA's commercial crew partner Boeing has achieved a key milestone on the way to actually flying astronauts aboard its CST-100 Starliner: Demonstrating that its launch pad abort system works as designed, which is a key safety system that NASA requires to be in place before the aerospace company can put astronauts inside the Starliner.
- Foust, Jeff (7 November 2019). "Missing pin blamed for Boeing pad abort parachute anomaly". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Boeing said Nov. 7 that a misplaced pin prevented a parachute from deploying during a pad abort test of its CST-100 Starliner vehicle three days earlier, the only flaw in a key test of that commercial crew vehicle.
- Clark, Stephen (7 November 2019). "Boeing identifies cause of chute malfunction, preps for Starliner launch". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Only two of the three main parachutes deployed, an issue Boeing has attributed to the lack of a secure connection between the pilot chute and one of the main chutes.
- Chang, Kenneth (20 December 2019). "Boeing Starliner Ends Up in Wrong Orbit After Clock Problem". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
As an Atlas 5 rocket arced upward into the pre-dawn sky from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Friday morning [...] On top of the rocket was Starliner, a capsule built by Boeing, part of a NASA strategy to delegate to private companies to handle the astronaut transportation. [...] The mission will now be cut short, without docking at the International Space Station and likely delaying plans that are already a couple of years behind schedule. [...] the spacecraft's clock was set to the wrong time, and a flawed thruster burn pushed the capsule into the wrong orbit.
- Weitering, Hanneke (8 February 2020). "Boeing's 2nd Starliner software glitch could have led to an in-space collision". Space.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that an independent review team has identified several issues during the Orbital Flight Test (OFT) mission, particularly when it comes to the spacecraft's software. Along with the previously disclosed error with Starliner's onboard timer, a second software issue could have potentially led to a slight but problematic collision of two of the spacecraft's components, investigators determined.
- Clark, Stephen (28 February 2020). "Boeing says thorough testing would have caught Starliner software problems". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Boeing missed a pair of software errors during the Starliner's Orbital Flight Test. One prevented the spacecraft from docking with the International Space Station, and the other could have resulted in catastrophic damage to the capsule during its return to Earth.
- NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (24 October 2011). "NASA Procedural Requirements for Mishap and Close Call Reporting, Investigating, and Recordkeeping w/Change 6" (PDF). The Campbell Institute. p. 49. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
High Visibility (Mishaps or Close Calls). Those particular mishaps or close calls, regardless of theamount of property damage or personnel injury, that the Administrator, Chief/OSMA, CD,ED/OHO, or the Center SMA director judges to possess a high degree of programmatic impact or public, media, or political interest including, but not limited to, mishaps and close calls that impact flight hardware, flight software, or completion of critical mission milestones.
- Berger, Eric (6 March 2020). "NASA declares Starliner mishap a "high visibility close call"". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
NASA chief of human spaceflight Doug Loverro said Friday that he decided to escalate the incident. So he designated Starliner's uncrewed mission, during which the spacecraft flew a shortened profile and did not attempt to dock with the International Space Station, as a "high visibility close call." This relatively rare designation for NASA's human spaceflight program falls short of "loss of mission" but is nonetheless fairly rare.
- Vergano, Dan (26 February 2014). "Spacewalk Mishap Tied to Clogged Helmet Filter". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
An International Space Station mishap that nearly killed an astronaut last year happened because of a clogged spacesuit filter, a NASA investigation board said on Wednesday. [...] "This was a high-visibility close call," said NASA's human exploration chief William Gerstenmaier.
- Kramer, Miriam (26 February 2014). "Spacesuit Leak That Nearly Drowned Astronaut Could Have Been Avoided". Space.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
After the spacesuit incident — which NASA calls a "high visibility close call" — space agency officials halted all non-emergency spacewalks until they could learn more about what caused the malfunction.
- Carrazana, Chabeli (6 March 2020). "Boeing had 49 gaps in testing for its astronaut capsule before failed flight, independent review finds". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
An independent review of the decisions that led to a failed test of Boeing's Starliner astronaut capsule found systematic and widespread missteps in the legacy company's testing procedures and software development [...] NASA has declared Boeing's mission a "high visibility close call" mishap...
- "NASA Invites Media to Prelaunch, Launch Activities for Boeing's Orbital Flight Test-2". NASA (Press release). 3 February 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
- Davenport, Christian (7 April 2020). "After botched test flight, Boeing will refly its Starliner spacecraft for NASA". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
The repeat flight likely will occur sometime in October or November, meaning the company probably won't fly a mission with astronauts on board this year [...] Repeating the mission and investigating other problems with Starliner is an expensive proposition: Earlier this year, Boeing said it was taking a $410 million charge to offset the cost.
- Clark, Stephen (6 April 2020). "After problem-plagued test flight, Boeing will refly crew capsule without astronauts". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Boeing told investors earlier this year it was taking a $410 million charge against its earnings to cover the expected costs of a second unpiloted test flight. [...] "We have chosen to refly our Orbital Flight Test to demonstrate the quality of the Starliner system," Boeing said in a statement [Monday]. "Flying another uncrewed flight will allow us to complete all flight test objectives and evaluate the performance of the second Starliner vehicle at no cost to the [taxpayer"]
- TASS staff (13 May 2020). "Роскосмос подтвердил подписание контракта на доставку астронавта NASA на корабле "Союз"". TASS (in Russian). Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Roscosmos and NASA signed a contract for the delivery of one American astronaut on a crewed Soyuz MS spacecraft in Autumn 2020. [...] The head of NASA, Jim Bridenstein [...] also admitted the possibility of buying a second place.
- Clark, Stephen (12 May 2020). "NASA inks deal with Roscosmos to ensure continuous U.S. presence on space station". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
"To ensure the agency keeps its commitment for safe operations via a continuous U.S. presence aboard the International Space Station until commercial crew capabilities are routinely available, NASA has completed negotiations with the State Space Corporation Roscosmos to purchase one additional Soyuz seat for a launch this fall," NASA said in a statement Tuesday. [...] NASA has not ruled out paying Russia's space agency for an additional Soyuz seat on a launch next April.
- Atkinson, Ian (17 January 2020). "SpaceX conducts successful Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
SpaceX successfully launched a unique Falcon 9 rocket at LC-39A for the in-flight abort test of their Crew Dragon spacecraft. The uncrewed test flight saw the spacecraft demonstrate its ability to escape a failing rocket mid-flight. Sunday's launch occurred at 10:30 AM Eastern, with a successful test resulting in the safe splashdown of the Dragon vehicle.
- Sheetz, Michael (19 January 2020). "Fiery SpaceX test of Crew Dragon capsule was 'picture perfect,' Elon Musk says". CNBC. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
SpaceX completed its last major test before flying astronauts to space on Sunday, in a critical high-speed mission that lasted mere minutes. [...] It's a crucial milestone for Musk's space company, as it will be key in determining whether NASA certifies the company's capsule to begin flying the agency's astronauts.
- Grush, Loren (19 January 2020). "SpaceX successfully tests escape system on new spacecraft — while destroying a rocket". The Verge. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
On Sunday morning, SpaceX successfully launched one of its last big flight tests for NASA, a launch that could pave the way for the company to carry passengers into space later this year. [...] With this test now complete, the next big flight of the Crew Dragon will have people on board: NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
- Davenport, Christian (24 September 2021). "Nearly two months after discovering a problem with its Starliner spacecraft, Boeing is still searching for answers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
- Josh Dinner (25 May 2022). "Touchdown! Boeing's Starliner returns to Earth from space station". Space.com. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
- Herridge, Linda (28 February 2022). "NASA Awards SpaceX Additional Crew Flights to Space Station". NASA. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
- Malik, Tariq (26 June 2019). "This Is SpaceX's 1st Crewed Dragon Spaceship Destined for Space". Space.com. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon, a crewed version of the company's robotic Dragon cargo ship, is one of two commercial space taxis that NASA will use to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner is the other. Both spacecraft are designed to carry up to seven astronauts.
- Reichhardt 2018, "Although the ships seem like a nod to the past—Apollo-style "capsules" instead of the spaceplanes astronauts rode to orbit for 30 years [...] Both the Starliner and Crew Dragon will travel to the station and dock automatically, with no astronaut input. (The crew can take manual control if something goes wrong.)"
- Wall 2018, "("CST," by the way, stands for "crew space transportation.") Starliner also features sleek touch-screen displays and has about the same amount of internal volume as the SpaceX capsule."
- Howell 2018, "The Starliner has a diameter of 15 feet (4.5 meters); a length of 16.5 feet (5 m), which includes the service module; and a volume of about 390 cubic feet (11 cubic md)."
- Wall 2018, "The gumdrop-shaped cargo Dragon is 14.4 feet tall and 12 feet wide at the base (4.4 by 3.7 meters), with 390 cubic feet (11 cubic meters) of internal volume."
- Reichhardt 2018, "Seating Capacity: Up to 7 NASA required that each vehicle be able to transport four people to and from the station. A fifth seat is available on both vehicles. Each company advertises a seating capacity of seven."
- Howell 2018, "Once the Starliner is attached to the space station, it's designed to stay there for 210 days — ample time to allow for the usual crew stays of six months, or 180 days."
- Etherington, Darrell (18 April 2020). "NASA and SpaceX set historic first astronaut launch for May 27". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 26 May 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
That Crew Dragon, which is the fully operational version, is designed for stays of at least 210 days, and the crew complement of four astronauts, including three from NASA and one from Japan's space agency, is already determined.
- Burghardt, Michael; Ingham, Jay; Lembeck, Michael F.; Reiley, Keith; Wood, Michael (1 May 2013). "Design Considerations for a Commercial Crew Transportation System" (PDF). The Boeing Company. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
The CST 100 can operate autonomously for up to 60 hours of free-flight [...] The vehicle can stay docked to a host complex for up to 210 days...
- Reichhardt 2018, "Designers are working to a challenging safety standard: a 1-in-270 chance of a fatal accident, as compared to the 1-in-90 chance calculated for the space shuttle by the time it retired in 2011."
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The Starliner is designed to be flown up to 10 times before it needs replacement [...] the new NASA Docking System (NDS) that will be used to dock with the ISS...
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Another very important difference is the nose cone, which hinges to reveal the NASA Docking System (NDS). The cargo-only Dragon uses the larger Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) for docking...
- Wall 2018, "Crew Dragon is a modified version of its cargo counterpart, and will also launch atop the Falcon 9."
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The first iteration of SpaceX's Dragon has successfully flown twenty missions to the ISS to date [...] CRS-20 is the last flight of the first-generation Dragon spacecraft, with the cargo version of the upgraded Dragon 2 spacecraft expected to take over services next year as part of Phase 2 of the CRS program, also known as CRS2.
- Reichhardt 2018, "Diameter: 12.1 ft. Height: 23.6 ft. Dimensions include Dragon's cargo "trunk.""
- Wall 2018, "Reusable?: Yes, Dragons are reusable, although test flights will fly new vehicles. Cargo trunk is discarded after each flight."
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Shotwell also noted that SpaceX is planning to reuse its Crew Dragon capsules. That was in doubt previously, as the leader of NASA's Commercial Crew program said in 2018 that SpaceX would use a new capsule each time the company flew the agency's astronauts. "We can fly crew more than once on a Crew Dragon," Shotwell said. "I'm pretty sure NASA is going to be okay with reuse."
- Clark, Stephen (23 May 2020). "Astronauts have a surprise name for their Crew Dragon spacecraft". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
So far, NASA has approved plans to reuse the Dragon 2 vehicles for cargo missions. SpaceX says the Dragon 2 capsules can fly to the space station and back up to five times, and the company hopes to eventually reuse the spaceships for crewed missions.
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...Crew Dragon does not need a significant number of systems critical for longer stays in space, as it is only designed to support humans for approximately one week in free-flight.
- Wall 2018, "Crew Dragon is also outfitted with an emergency escape system, which consists of eight SuperDraco engines built into the capsule's walls. If something goes wrong at any point during a Crew Dragon flight, these engines can fire up and carry the spacecraft and its passengers to safety."
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The first test of the SuperDraco [...] was an impressive demonstration of what the engine could do, not only sustaining its 71,000 newtons (16,000 pounds) of thrust...
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SpaceX has built the thrusters into the capsule's outer walls. Eight SuperDraco engines are embedded in the hull and will "push" the capsule away from the rocket in an emergency. [...] Boeing's CST-100 Starliner uses a similar launch escape system as the one on the Crew Dragon, but instead of eight SuperDraco engines, it uses four RS-88 engines, which are built by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
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Besides launch abort, SuperDraco thrusters will allow SpaceX's spacecraft to land propulsively on the ground, the company says. Propulsive Dragon landing tests are slated to begin at McGregor under the DragonFly program
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SpaceX's DragonFly test vehicle has arrived at its test facility in McGregor, Texas. DragonFly will be attached to a large crane, ahead of a series of test firings of its SuperDraco thrusters to set the stage towards the eventual goal of propulsive landings.
- Wall 2018, "It makes parachute-aided splashdowns in the ocean when its work on orbit is done. [...] SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk had previously stated that Crew Dragon would eventually be capable of touchdowns on terra firma, using parachutes and retrorocket firings [...] But that option is apparently no longer in the works."
- Reichhardt 2018, "Landing Site: Atlantic Ocean"
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Crew Dragon $60 - $67 million; Starliner $91 - $99 million [...] Starliner and Crew Dragon per-seat costs use the total contract value for operations divided by the maximum 24 seats available. The upper range reflects the inclusion of NASA's program overhead.
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According to the NASA audit, the SpaceX Crew Dragon's per-seat cost works out at an estimated $55 million while a seat on Boeing's Starliner is approximately $90 million...
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Eventually, a round-trip seat on the Crew Dragon is expected to cost about $US55 million. A seat on Starliner will cost about $US90 million. That's according to a November 2019 report from the NASA Office of Inspector General.
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NASA will likely pay about $90 million for each astronaut who flies aboard Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule on International Space Station (ISS) missions, the report estimated. The per-seat cost for SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, meanwhile, will be around $55 million, according to the OIG's calculations.
- Reichhardt 2018, "Head / Leg Room: Diameter: 15 ft. Height: 16.6 ft. Dimensions include service (propulsion) module."
- Reichhardt 2018, "Reusable?: Yes Crew capsule can be reflown up to 10 times. Service module will be discarded after each flight."
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Aerojet Rocketdyne, an aerospace propulsion contractor based in Sacramento, California, also announced this week it secured an expected contract from Boeing to provide thrusters, fuel tanks and abort engines for the CST-100 Starliner commercial crew capsule. [...] Each shipset includes four 40,000-pound thrust launch abort engines for the CST-100’s pusher escape system and 24 orbital maneuvering and attitude control thrusters, each generating 1,500 pounds of thrust for low-altitude abort attitude control and in-space orbit adjustments.
- Gebhardt, Chris (19 December 2019). "Boeing, ULA launches Starliner, suffers orbital insertion issue – will return home Sunday". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
The Crew Module is equipped with 12 Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters that can produce 100 lbf of thrust each. [...] The Service Module contains 28 RCS thrusters that produce 85 lbf thrust each and 20 Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control (OMAC) engines. The OMACs produce 1,500 lbf thrust each. [...] This suborbital trajectory was requested by Boeing so that under normal conditions, Starliner can then burn most of its unused launch abort fuel (via the Orbit Insertion Burn) to lighten its mass before it boosts its orbit to phase up to the Station.
- Rhian, Jason (2 November 2016). "Launch Abort Engines for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner undergo testing". Spaceflight Insider. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
The OMAC thrusters are 1,500-pound (6,672-newton) thrust class and are used for low-altitude launch abort attitude control, maneuvering, and stage-separation functions [...] The spacecraft's RCS engines are 100-pound (445-newton) thrust class and provide high-altitude abort attitude control and on-orbit maneuvering.
- The Boeing Company (December 2019). "Reporter's Starliner Notebook" (PDF). The Boeing Company. p. 5. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
Service Module: [...] 4 Launch Abort Engines, 40,000 lbf each
- Wall 2018, "But Starliner touches down on land, not in the ocean, and therefore also sports impact-cushioning airbags at its rounded base."
- Reichhardt 2018, "Landing Site: Western U.S. Starliner will parachute to dry land, like Soyuz, and use airbags to cushion the impact. Landing sites at White Sands, NM; Dugway Proving Ground, UT; Edwards AFB, CA; Willcox Playa, AZ."
- Howell 2018, "If an emergency takes place, though, the spacecraft can splash down in the ocean, just like Apollo and Dragon."
- Reichhardt 2018, "Each company has contracted for up to six additional taxi flights, during which the Starliner or Crew Dragon will dock with the station, remain attached for six months as a lifeboat for the crew, then return the astronauts to Earth."
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But with the new generation of US commercial crew vehicles, which can accommodate four astronauts, it will finally become possible to increase the station's crew size to its originally conceived number of seven, including four USOS crewmembers. [...] establishing the norm for all subsequent commercial crew vehicles, which will then continue to launch at a cadence of once every six months.
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...Crew-1, that will see four astronauts—three astronauts from NASA (Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover) and one, Soichi Noguchi, from JAXA, the Japanese space agency—head from Florida to the ISS for a planned six-month expedition. Crew-1 will be SpaceX's first scheduled crew rotation mission.
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Not just NASA astronauts will fly aboard Crew Dragon—Japan's Soichi Noguchi will be 1 of 4 crewmembers on the very next flight scheduled for September 2020.
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Even with the anomaly that occurred last month, Ms. Lueders was able to update the NAC directly on the current hardware readiness dates for the In Flight Abort test and the Demo-2 crew mission, both of which now have to use different Crew Dragon capsules than originally planned. [...] Current capsule reassignments: [...] SN 207; Original Assignment Crew-2; New Assignment Crew-1
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...the first operational Crew Dragon mission, Crew-1. NASA said in a July 22 media advisory it anticipated a launch no earlier than late September. [...] NASA approved a contract modification in May that allows SpaceX to reuse boosters and capsule starting on the Crew-2 mission, which would launch in 2021. McErlean said NASA expects that the Crew-2 will use the Falcon 9 booster that launches Crew-1, and the capsule from the ongoing Demo-2 mission.
- Gebhardt, Chris (20 June 2019). "Station mission planning reveals new target Commercial Crew launch dates". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
...the two U.S. crew members who will be on that flight to the Station in May 2020 is completely dependent on whether Starliner or Dragon flies the mission. [...] Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi will be on that first crew rotation mission regardless of which commercial partner flies it.
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Strapped into the Soyuz MS-16/62S command module's center seat was veteran cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishin, joined by rookie flight engineer Ivan Vagner on the left and Navy SEAL-turned-astronaut Chris Cassidy on the right.
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The agency has approved the use of preflown Crew Dragon capsules and Falcon 9 rockets on SpaceX's crewed missions to the International Space Station (ISS) [...] The first flight with used hardware could be Crew-2, the second contracted mission, which will likely lift off sometime in 2021...
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The U.S. astronauts assigned to the Starliner's first operational mission, Sunita Williams
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The Starliner vehicle that landed Sunday in New Mexico, designated Spacecraft 3, is slated to fly again on Boeing's second crewed mission. NASA has assigned astronauts Suni Williams that Starliner mission, the first regular crew rotation flight to the space station.
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Following that would come the first operational flight to the ISS, Starliner-1, with astronauts Sunita Williams and Jeanette Epps.
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Andrei Fedyaev will fly on another SpaceX mission in the spring of 2023, according to NASA.
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- "High-visibility mishap" and "high-visibility close call" are designations which describe incidents that impact the mission's spacecraft and/or crew with a high degree of public, media, and/or political attention. "High-visibility close call" had previously been used to describe an aborted EVA during Expedition 36.