So 2010 begins with delays for two high profile projects on either side of the Atlantic ocean. NASA’s Commercial Crew Development initiative still has no announcement about the awarding of its $50 million and the European Union’s much delayed satellite navigation system Galileo still has no space segment contractA fight between the Franco-German EADS Astrium and Germany’s OHB-Systems the prospects for anyone to make any profit out of producing the satellites dimmed as the companies were told by the EU that only 22 spacecraft, not 28, would be ordered
Galileo has been delayed to such a degree that a “late 2009” contract award slip to “early 2010” is no great disaster for the programme but the question really is, why is there a delay for the announcement and how ominous is that?
Meanwhile NASA’s CCDev, an “initiative” that was to see $50 million split between one or more companies wanting to develop a commercial space transport concept and related hardware, could never announce its funded space act agreement awards
Originally planning for a November announcement, two months on, CCDev is likely to suffer a similar fate to its human rating study counterpart and become something else, rolling into the commercial transportation programme that is expected be a part of the human spaceflight vision US president Barack Obama is thought to be planning to unveil in February with this 2011 budget request