The wrong stuff: No more jutt-jawed test pilot heroes are needed by NASA

by | Jan 10, 2013 | Commercial human spaceflight, commercial launch services, Personal spaceflight, Seradata News | 0 comments

The most recent update of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) programme (and its CCiCap follow-on) had one interesting point: all three of the leading commercial firms involved, Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX, plan to have their own test-pilot astronauts fly the initial suborbial and later initial orbital manned launches of their spacecraft: the CST-100, the Dreamchaser and Dragon respectively.  These should take place in the 2015-16 time frame.

Spaceflightnow reports that NASA complies with this strategy noting that a demonstration of the safety of the said crew delivery systems is the commercial firms’ responsibility as part of their contracts,  NASA astronauts will apparently not be allowed to fly on initial orbital flights.

If they are not aboard, gone will the days when NASA needed glamorously-brave test pilot school graduate astronauts with”The Right Stuff” to fly on these very dangerous test missions,  From now on, unlike Neil Armstrong and most of his Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle-commander colleagues, NASA’s space men and women will apparently just be fare-paying passengers.

Comment by David Todd:  No more heroes anymore.  Perhaps this heath-and-safety-first risk-reduction stance has been forced on NASA by its insurers and lawyers.  Schoolboys in the UK have been banned from playing conkers for the same reason.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

PICTURES: Boeing/Bigelow Aerospace commercial crew capsule

Released 2 February 2010 this is the Boeing/Bigelow Aerospace commercial crew capsule concept that is part of the Boeing company's Read more

Where art thou Galileo and CCDev?

So 2010 begins with delays for two high profile projects on either side of the Atlantic ocean. NASA's Commercial Crew Read more

What could Norman Augustine’s mystery booster be?

Much has been made of the support Norman Augustine's commitee has given to commercial spaceflight but what hasn't been talked Read more

What fate for NASA’s CCDev?

Is 9 December the day we'll find out who has been awarded funded space act agreements for NASA's Commercial Crew Read more

Will NASA’s human rating $1 million solve the dispute?

NASA says: "[T]he procurement you identified is related to the $1 million of Recovery Act funds allocated for human rating Read more

Commercial crew: Boeing and Bigelow team up

In a surprise move that may see Lockheed frozen out of a Bigelow, Commercial Crew Development progamme collaboration the Boeing Read more

NASA’s SLS heavy lift rocket is passed for lunar duty after completing curtailed fuelling and countdown test

NASA’s plans for unmanned and later human launches to the Moon have been given the green light to proceed after Read more

China launches three Yaogan 35 satellites from Xichang

Three Yaogan-35 Group 02 satellites were launched from the launch site of Xichang, China by a Long March 2D (CZ-2D) Read more

Categories

Archives