Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Update on NASA funding for spaceships

The key statement on CCDev 2 funding, from NASA's Phil McAlister: "Within the U.S. industrial base, there is considerable launch vehicle development expertise and experience, as many companies have successfully developed new launch vehicles over the last few decades. In contrast, no U.S. company has successfully developed a crew-carrying spacecraft in over 30 years."
COMMENT: Makes sense to me. We have rockets: Delta, Atlas, and Falcon (which hopefully will force the others down in price). We don't have a proven human-carrying spacecraft once we retire the Shuttle. If the private sector can do it faster and cheaper than the Orion-derived capsule NASA is still working on, then fine. (If the Lockheed Martin/NASA capsule program goes well, then we're "more fine" - we have options.)

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