Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CCDev: The Next Generation

Former Space Shuttle Flight Director Wayne Hale posted on his blog November 14 an article titled, "The coming train wreck for Commercial Human Spaceflight." The article criticizes the draft policy NASA has issued for acquiring commercial crew flight services.

The document runs a mind-numbing 260 pages of densely spaced requirements. Most disappointing, on pages 7 to 11 is a table of 74 additional requirements documents which must be followed, in whole or in part. Taken all together, there are thousands of requirement statements referenced in this document. And for every one NASA will require a potential commercial space flight provider to document, prove, and verify with massive amounts of paperwork and/or electronic forms. This, folks is the old way of doing business. This is one of the major reasons why spaceflight is as costly as it is.

If one were of a conspiratorial bent, one might think this is an attempt by the NASA bureaucracy to derail Commercial Crew Development (known as CCDev) so NASA can keep a monopoly on crewed access to space. Mr. Hale seems to think it's more along the lines of the bureaucracy taking risk mitigation to an extreme.

In any case, I've found a couple related links that might interest you.

Click here for a PowerPoint slide-show that was used as a presentation at a CCDev Round 2 Pre-Proposal Conference at KSC on October 29, 2010.

Click here for the CCDev Round 2 web site at NASA.gov.

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