Looks like SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada are the joint winners of $1.1B in funding under CCiCap, the third phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program – NASA announces $1.1 billion in support for a trio of spaceships.
Two parts I find interesting:
- Sierra Nevada is still in the competition — I have a soft spot for lifting bodies, and I am a little jealous that they’re building what Orion should have been;
- Liberty (the Abomination Formerly Known as Ares-I) is not being funded by NASA — surprising, that. I had expected they’d be among the two and a half due to political connections alone. Either those connections are no longer as strong as they had been, or technical sense won out in this instance.
On the other hand, this bit from SpaceX is just stupid:
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) today won a $440 million contract with NASA to develop the successor to the Space Shuttle and transport American astronauts into space.
No, SpaceX, you aren’t building the successor to the Space Shuttle. That’s always been Orion. If you were really building the successor to the Space Shuttle you’d need about five times as much money, an equal increment of “insight-oversight”, and about another three years to get to that first manned flight…