Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crew program inches forward

WASHINGTON – NASA requested proposals from U.S. companies to complete development of crew transportation systems that meet NASA certification requirements. This phase of the Commercial Crew Program is the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap), designed to ensure a company's crew transportation system is safe, reliable and cost-effective. "NASA is committed to launching American astronauts from U.S. soil in the very near future, and we're taking a significant step toward achieving that goal today," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. The certification process will assess progress throughout the production and testing of one or more integrated space transportation systems, which include rockets, spacecraft and ground operations. Requirements under CCtCap also will include at least one crewed flight test to the space station before certification can be granted. NASA has not been able to launch astronauts in space from U.S. soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program. The crew program is part of the Space Launch System program. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/19/13) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, both are involved in NASA's SLS program, designed to take astronauts deeper in space than ever before.