Originally published on Jan 16, 2017 | NASA Commentator Kyle Herring talks with Kathy Lueders, the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, about the status of efforts to develop commercial space vehicles to deliver human crew members to the International Space Station. NASA is working with Boeing and SpaceX as those companies work through milestones to get their vehicles, Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, ready for their first crewed flights to the station, while the space station program is reconfiguring the station and preparing for spacewalks to install the new International Docking Adapters to which the new commercial spacecraft will dock.
Although YouTube states that the above video was published this month, I suspect that it was actually recorded two years ago in mid-June 2015. Reason being that reference was made in the video (@6:20) of the upcoming launch of the International Docking Adapter (IDA-1). However IDA-1 was lost during the launch failure of SpX CRS-7 on June 28, 2015. (Referencehttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Docking_Adapter)
Elon Musk and SpaceX aren’t the only ones with their “eyes on the prize” of replacing the Shuttle for commercial U.S manned space launches. Boeing has unveiled a new streamlined light-weight space suit for it astronauts to wear aboard its CST-100 “Space Taxi”.
See also my post Bras In Space, the story of the Apollo spacesuit
This week saw the crash and burn of two commercial space ships; one manned, the other unmanned. Regardless of how commonplace spaceflight seems to have become it is still dangerous business. As Elon Musk quipped when a SpaceX test vehicle self-destructed (as intended) when something went haywire over the McGregor Texas test site, “Rockets are tricky“.
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, speaking to incoming freshman students at Rice University, Houston, Texas
On April 28, 2014, SpaceX filed a bid protest in the United States Court of Federal Claims to challenge the U.S. Air Force’s latest Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contract with United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The long-term contract, which guarantees the purchase of 36 rocket cores from ULA to be used in national security launches, was granted to ULA on a sole-source basis without any competition from other launch providers.