Draws On ISS, Shuttle, And Constellation Program
The Boeing Company submitted a
proposal to NASA on Tuesday to accelerate the development of
commercial human space transportation as defined by NASA in its
Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) announcement. Boeing's
submission, which draws on the company's experience with proven
human-rated spacecraft, proposes development of technologies that
will mature its Commercial Crew Transportation System concept.
NASA's CCDev initiative is intended to stimulate private-sector
development of a commercially managed system that could be used to
transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station,
Bigelow Aerospace's Orbital Space Complex, and other potential
destinations in low Earth orbit.
"Boeing's knowledge of the space station and our long history of
supporting NASA with proven human-rated systems should allow us to
work closely with NASA to develop a commercially viable, yet safe,
crew transportation system," said Keith Reiley, Boeing program
manager for the CCDev proposal. "Boeing has a lot to offer NASA in
this new field of commercial crew transportation services. To show
our commitment, we are willing to make a substantial investment in
research and development."
Boeing has strong project management skills, commercial
manufacturing experience using Lean management practices, one of
the strongest supplier networks in the United States, and a team of
talented engineers with practical human spaceflight experience.
Most recently, Boeing has applied this experience on its Ares I and
Constellation work in support of NASA's exploration mission. Boeing
can apply these skills and capabilities to meeting specific
milestones to show progress in developing a reliable and safe
commercial crew transportation system.
Joining Boeing on the CCDev team will be Las Vegas-based Bigelow
Aerospace, LLC. Bigelow Aerospace will provide additional
investment, requirements for crew transportation to its Orbital
Space Complex, and its expertise from testing and validating the
technologies necessary to construct and deploy a full-scale,
crewed, commercial orbital space complex.
Ares I Artist's Concept Courtesy
To support the commercial space industry with space-platform and
human-rated systems experience, Boeing also has joined three other
teams competing for CCDev agreements. These teams are submitting
their own separate proposals.
NASA has announced it will sign funded agreements with one or
more teams in November, using funds from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009. The value of the Space Act Agreements can
vary, but NASA has said approximately $50 million is available to
distribute and that the funded, fixed-price agreements will run
through September 2010.