Perhaps the big surprise of the NASA budget teleconference was the sudden announcement by agency administrator Charles Bolden of the winners for NASA’s $50 million Commercial Crew Development initiative
This bloggers question, if selected during the teleconference Q&A, would have been, how does CCDev tally with this new commercial crew transportation programme that will get $500 million in fiscal year 2011. Is CCDev, for example, going to be the COTS to the commercial crew programme’s CRS?
COTS being the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services demonstration project that is funding Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Orbital Sciences and CRS, or Commercial Resupply Services, being a competitively tendered contract for ISS cargo resupply
The winners Bolden announced are Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin, Paragon Space Development and Sierra Nevada Corporation. We know that Bigelow Aerospace has teamed with Boeing. Space Exploration Technologies told this blog off the record a whileback that they were not expecting to be selected for CCDev
Deputy administrator Lori Garver explained during the teleconference that the companies that were part of the Constellation programme could use some of the output from that, from the approx. $9 billion invested, to offer spacecraft for the new commercial programme
More detail will be given tomorrow at the 2 February 10:00h local time (15:00h GMT) press conference at the National Press Club when NASA administrator Charles Bolden and John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, speak about the new commercial efforts