Commercial Crew Development
Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) is a human spaceflight development program that is funded by the U.S. government and administered by NASA. CCDev will result in US and international astronauts flying to the International Space Station (ISS) on privately operated crew vehicles.
|Purpose||Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo transport|
|Maiden flight||Crew Dragon Demo-1|
March 2, 2019
|First crewed flight||Crew Dragon Demo-2 or Boeing Crewed Flight Test|
NET Q1 2020
|Part of a series on the|
Operational contracts to fly astronauts were awarded in September 2014 to SpaceX and Boeing. Test flights of Dragon 2 and CST-100 are scheduled for 2019. Pending completion of the demonstration flights, each company is contracted to supply six flights to ISS between 2019 and 2024. The first group of astronauts was announced on 3 August 2018.
Key high-level requirements for the Commercial Crew vehicles include:
- Safely deliver and return four crew members and their equipment to the International Space Station (ISS)
- Provide assured crew return in the event of an emergency
- Serve as a 24-hour safe haven in the event of an emergency
- Capable of remaining docked to the station for 210 days
Development program overview
After the retirement of STS in 2011, NASA had no domestic vehicles capable of launching astronauts to space. The next major human spaceflight initiative will launch in 2022 as Artemis 2 on the Space Launch System.
In the meantime, NASA continued to send astronauts to the ISS on Soyuz spacecraft seats purchased from Russia. The price has varied over time, with the batch of seats from 2016 to 2017 costing 70.7 million per passenger per flight. The intent of CCDev is to develop safe and reliable commercial ISS crew launch capabilities to replace the Soyuz flights. CCDev follows Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS), an ISS commercial cargo program. CCDec contracts are issued for fixed-price, pay-for-performance milestones.
NASA awarded development funds to five companies under CCDev 1:
- Blue Origin: $3.7M for a 'pusher' Launch Abort System (LAS) and composite pressure vessels.
- Boeing: $18M for development of the CST-100
- Paragon Space Development Corporation: $1.4M for a plug-and-play environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) Air Revitalization System (ARS) Engineering Development Unit.
- Sierra Nevada Corporation: $20M for development of the Dream Chaser
- United Launch Alliance: $6.7M for an Emergency Detection System (EDS) for human-rating Atlas V
- Blue Origin: $22 million. Technologies in support of a biconic nose cone design orbital vehicle, including launch abort system liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engines.
- Sierra Nevada Corporation: $80 million. Dream Chaser
- SpaceX: $75 million. Dragon 2 integrated launch abort system
- Boeing: $92.3 million. Additional CST-100 development
Proposals selected without NASA funding:
- United Launch Alliance: extend development work on human-rating the Atlas V
- Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and Astrium proposed development of Liberty. NASA will share expertise and technology.
- Excalibur Almaz Inc. was developing a crewed system with modernized Soviet-era hardware intended for tourism flights to orbit. An unfunded Space Act Agreement to establish a framework to further develop EAI's spacecraft concept for low Earth orbit crew transportation.
Proposals not selected:
- Orbital Sciences proposed the Prometheus lifting-body spaceplane vehicle
- Paragon Space Development Corporation proposed additional development of the Commercial Crew Transport-Air Revitalization System.
- t/Space proposed a reusable eight-person crew or cargo transfer spacecraft
- United Space Alliance proposed to commercially fly the two remaining Space Shuttle vehicles.
Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap) was originally called CCDev 3. For this phase of the program, NASA wanted proposals to be complete, end-to-end concepts of operation, including spacecraft, launch vehicles, launch services, ground and mission operations, and recovery. In September 2011, NASA released a draft request for proposals (RFP).
The selected proposals were announced 3 August 2012:
CPC phase 1
- Sierra Nevada Corporation: $10 million
- SpaceX: $9.6 million
- Boeing: $9.9 million
CCtCap - crew flights awarded
The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) is the second phase of the CPC and included the final development, testing and verifications to allow crewed demonstration flights to the ISS. NASA issued the draft CCtCap contract's Request For Proposals (RFP) on 19 July 2013 with a response date of 15 August 2013.
On 16 September 2014, NASA announced that Boeing and SpaceX had received contracts to provide crewed launch services to the ISS. Boeing could receive up to US$4.2 billion, while SpaceX could receive up to US$2.6 billion. In November 2019 NASA published a first cost per seat estimate: US$55 million for SpaceX's Dragon and US$90 million for Boeing's Starliner. Boeing was also granted an additional $287.2 million above the fixed price contract. Seats on Soyuz had an average cost of US$80 million.
Both the CST-100 and Dragon 2 will fly an uncrewed flight, then a crewed certification flight, then up to six operational flights to the ISS.
CST-100 valve issue
Crew Dragon explosion
On 20 April 2019, an issue arose during a static fire test of Crew Dragon. The accident destroyed the capsule which was planned to be used for the In-Flight Abort Test (IFAT). SpaceX confirmed that the capsule exploded. NASA has stated that the explosion will delay the planned in-flight abort and crewed orbital tests.
NASA has ordered twelve operational missions to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station, six with each supplier. Astronaut selections for the first four missions were announced on August 2, 2018.
|Dragon 2||Dragon 2 pad abort test||Pad abort test, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida||None||6 May 2015||Success|
|Dragon 2||Uncrewed test flight. DM-1 launched on 2 March 2019 and docked to ISS PMA-2/IDA-2 docking port a little under 24 hours after launch. The Dragon spent 5 days docked to ISS before undocking and landing on 8 March 2019.||None||2 March 2019||Success|
|Uncrewed Pad Abort Test||None||4 November 2019||Success|
|CST-100||Uncrewed test flight. Will mark the first flight of an Atlas V with a dual engine Centaur upper stage. The CST-100 will spend approximately 8 days docked to the ISS before undocking and landing somewhere in the United States.||None||NET 20 December 2019||Planned|
|Dragon 2||A Falcon 9 will launch a Dragon 2 from LC-39A before the spacecraft will perform a launch abort at Max q in order to test Dragon 2's launch abort system.||None||NET 11 January 2020||Planned|
|Dragon 2||Crewed test flight. Dragon 2 will launch with two crew members and dock to the ISS under 24 hours later. The Dragon will spend one to two weeks docked to the ISS before returning to Earth.||NET February 2020||Planned|
|Extended crewed test flight, might deliver ISS Expedition 62/63 crew to ISS.||NET Q1 2020||Planned|
ISS crew rotation flights
|Dragon 2||USCV-1||Deliver ISS Expedition 64/65 crew||May 2020||Planned|
|CST-100||USCV-2||Deliver ISS Expedition 66/67 crew. Would be only the fourth US Spaceflight to have a female Commander.||December 2020||Planned|
For the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget, US$500 million was requested for the CCDev program, but Congress granted only $270 million. For the FY 2012 budget, $850 million was requested and $406 million approved. For the FY 2013 budget, 830 million was requested and $488 million approved. For the FY 2014 budget, $821 million was requested and $696 million approved. In FY 2015, $848 million was requested and $805 million, or 95%, was approved.
The funding of all commercial crew contractors for each phase of the CCP program is as follows—CCtCap values are maxima and include post-development operational flights.
|Manufacturers of spacecraft|
|Sierra Nevada Corporation||20.0||105.6||227.5||10.0||–||362.1|
|Manufacturers of launch vehicles and equipment|
|United Launch Alliance||6.7||-||–||–||–||6.7|
|Paragon Space Development Corporation||1.4||–||–||–||–||1.4|
On November 14, 2019, NASA's inspector general published an auditing report listing per-seat prices of $90 million for Starliner and $55 million for Dragon Crew. With these, Boeing's price is higher than what NASA has paid the Russian space corporation, Roscosmos, for Soyuz spacecraft seats to fly US and partner-nation astronauts to the space station. The report also states that NASA agreed to pay an additional $287.2 million above Boeing’s fixed prices to mitigate a perceived 18-month gap in ISS flights anticipated in 2019 and to ensure the contractor continued as a second commercial crew provider, without offering similar opportunities to SpaceX.
NASA Commercial Crew and Cargo
|Commercial Cargo Development||2006–2013|
|Commercial Space Transportation Capabilities||2007–2010|
|Commercial Crew Development (phase 1)||2010–2011|
|Commercial Crew Development (phase 2)||2011–2012|
|Commercial Crew integrated Capability (phase 3)|
(base period milestones)
|Commercial Crew integrated Capability (phase 4)|
(optional period milestones)
|Certification Products Contract (crew)||2012–2014|
|Commercial Crew Transportation Capability||2014–2017|
|Commercial Resupply Services (cargo)||2011–2016|
|ISS Crew Transportation Services (crew)||2017–present|
|NASA's COTS program |
Private spaceflight companies
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- "Commercial Crew Program – fact sheet" (PDF). NASA. February 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
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- "NASA to Pay $70 Million a Seat to Fly Astronauts on Russian Spacecraft".
- "Selection Statement For Commercial Crew Development" (PDF). JSC-CCDev-1. NASA. December 9, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
- "Moving Forward: Commercial Crew Development Building the Next Era in Spaceflight" (PDF). Rendezvous. NASA. 2010. pp. 10–17. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
Just as in the COTS projects, in the CCDev project we have fixed-price, pay-for-performance milestones," Thorn said. "There's no extra money invested by NASA if the projects cost more than projected.
- "NASA Selects Commercial Firms to Begin Development of Crew Transportation Concepts and Technology Demonstrations for Human Spaceflight Using Recovery Act Funds". press release. NASA. February 1, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- "Commercial Crew and Cargo Program" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2010.
- Jeff Foust. "Blue Origin proposes orbital vehicle".
- NASA Selects Boeing for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Award to Study Crew Capsule-based Design
- "CCDev Information". NASA. July 20, 2010.
- "SNC receives largest award of NASA's CCDev Competitive Contract". SNC. February 1, 2010. Archived from the original on February 7, 2010.
- "NASA Selects United Launch Alliance for Commercial Crew Development Program". February 2, 2010. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
- Dean, James. "NASA awards $270 million for commercial crew efforts". space.com, April 18, 2011.
- Morring, Frank, Jr. (April 22, 2011). "Five Vehicles Vie To Succeed Space Shuttle". Aviation Week. Archived from the original on December 21, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
the CCDev-2 awards, ... went to Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX).
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), p. 2-1
- " Blue Origin Technology" Archived January 10, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Blue Origin. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
- "Taking the next step: Commercial Crew Development Round 2". SpaceX Updates webpage. SpaceX. 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
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- Malik, Tariq (2010-02-08). "Scrapped NASA Rocket May be Resurrected for Commercial Launches". SPACE.com. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "NASA, private firm may team up on Liberty rocket". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- "Commercial Crew Program Forum Presentation" Archived October 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, p. 7. commercialcrew.nasa.gov, September 16, 2011.
- "CCP and Excalibur Sign Space Act Agreement". NASA.
- "Excalibur Almaz, NASA sign commercial spaceflight deal"
- "The Shape of Things to Come – Orbital's Prometheus™ Space Plane Ready for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Initiative" (PDF).
- "(press release) Paragon Space Development Corporation Completes All Development Milestones on the NASA Commercial Crew Development Program" (PDF). Paragon. January 31, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011.
- Boyle, Alan (February 11, 2011). "Let's talk about the final frontier". Cosmic Log. MSNBC. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
the proposal calls for the development of a spaceship that could be sent into space on a variety of launch vehicles. ... "Up to eight crew, Soyuz-like architecture (recoverable reusable crew element, expendable orbital/cargo module). Incorporates HMX's patented integral abort system (uses OMS/RCS propellant in separate abort engines). Can fly on Atlas 401 [a configuration for the Atlas 5 rocket], F9 [SpaceX's Falcon 9] or Taurus II (enhanced) but with a reduced cargo and crew capability on the latter vehicle. Goal is to be the lowest-price provider on a per-seat basis. Nominal land recovery with water backup."
- "NASA weighs plan to keep shuttle until 2017 – Technology & science – Space – NBC News". NBC News.
- "COMMERCIAL CREW INTEGRATED CAPABILITY". NASA. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- "Statement of William H. Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Committee on Science, Space and Technology; U. S. House of Representatives" (PDF). October 12, 2011. pp. 6–7. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "CCiCap Solicitation". NASA. February 7, 2012. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
- "Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Pre-Proposal Conference". NASA. February 14, 2012. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- "NASA Announces Next Steps in Effort to Launch Americans from U.S. Soil". NASA. August 3, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
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- "NASA Awards Contracts In Next Step Toward Safely Launching American Astronauts From U.S. Soil". NASA. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "NASA Commercial Crew Transportation Capability Contract CCTCAP Draft RFP". SpaceREF. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "NASA report finds Boeing seat prices are 60% higher than SpaceX". November 14, 2019.
- Foust, Jeff (2014-09-19). "NASA Commercial Crew Awards Leave Unanswered Questions". Space News. Retrieved 2014-09-21.
We basically awarded based on the proposals that we were given," Kathy Lueders, NASA commercial crew program manager, said in a teleconference with reporters after the announcement. "Both contracts have the same requirements. The companies proposed the value within which they were able to do the work, and the government accepted that.
- "RELEASE 14-256 NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station". www.nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
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- "CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria Statement on NASA Contract Extension with Roscosmos". Commercial Spaceflight Federation. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "NASA's management of crew transportation to the International Space Station" (PDF). NASA Office of Audits. November 14, 2019. p. 3.
- Bridenstine, Jim. "NASA has been notified about the results of the @SpaceX Static Fire Test and the anomaly that occurred during the final test. We will work closely to ensure we safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program". TWITTER. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Gebhardt, Chris (August 11, 2017). "SpaceX and Boeing in home stretch for Commercial Crew readiness". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- Mosher, Dave. "SpaceX confirmed that its Crew Dragon spaceship for NASA was 'destroyed' by a recent test. Here's what we learned about the explosive failure". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
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- McAlister, Phillip (18 April 2013). "Commercial Spaceflight Update" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
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- "NASA Selects Commercial Firms to Begin Development of Crew Transportation Concepts and Technology Demonstrations for Human Spaceflight Using Recovery Act Funds". press release. NASA. February 1, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "NASA Awards Next Set Of Commercial Crew Development Agreements". press release. NASA. April 18, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "NASA Releases Commercial Crew Draft RFP, Announces CCDEV2 Optional Milestones". press release. NASA. September 19, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- BERGER, ERIC. "NASA report finds Boeing seat prices are 60% higher than SpaceX". Arstechnica. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
- Official NASA Commercial Crew Program page
- Official NASA Press Kit relating to the Commercial Crew Program
- Commercial Crew & Cargo Document Library on NASA.gov
- CCDev 1 Space Act agreements
- Partners Mature Spacecraft Designs, NASA video update, 14 January 2014.
- Boeing CCtCap Contract (redacted)
- SpaceX CCtCap Contract (redacted)