NASA Commercial Crew Program Progress Update

Yesterday NASA held a Commercial Crew Program (CPP) press briefing with updates from the four participating companies. The CPP is NASA's program in which it is partnering with industry to establish an affordable and commercially-viable access to low Earth orbit.

Briefing participants included:

- Phil McAlister, NASA Commercial Spaceflight Development director
- Ed Mango, NASA Commercial Crew Program manager
- Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin president and program manager
- John Mulholland, The Boeing Co. Commercial Programs Space Exploration vice president and program manager
- Mark Sirangelo, Sierra Nevada Corp vice president and SNC Space Systems chairman
- Garrett Reisman, Space Exploration Technologies Commercial Crew project manager

Of the four commercial companies, involved three of them, Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX, were funded in in the third round of funding known as Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap). Blue Origin is working in an unfunded agreement which they said yesterday they plan on extending.

All four companies have made significant progress in their agreements and outlined plans for 2013 and beyond.

Ed Mango said an RFP for the next phase, the certification phase, would be issued in the fall with contracts planned by May of 2014.

SpaceX is the sole company which put an actual date of when they plan to fly astronauts on Dragon saying that by late 2015 they plan on flying their own in-house astronauts to the ISS.

NASA plans to issue ISS services contract after completing certification which will include at least one crewed mission to the ISS by mid-2017.

- Slides from yesterday's presentations.

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