Having previously indicated that it would be up to the service providers to provide the crew for any commecial manned test spaceflights as part of the NASA Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) programme, now it seems that NASA has performed a partial U-turn. According to reports, NASA is now demanding that successful biddes will have to have at least one NASA astronaut on any test flight that goes to the International Space Station (ISS). The flight should take place in 2015 or 2016.
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While under financial pressure from the US Senate and US House of Representatives to pick only one winner for commercial crew program’s next Commercial Crew Integrated Capability phase in August (the US Senate and the plans to cap commercial crew spending at circa $500 million during the Fiscal year 2013) NASA remains resolute that it wants to choose more than one crew launch system. Without true competition, NASA warns that crew launch purchase costs will inevitably rise.
Former US Marine Corp Major-General Charles Bolden must by now be reflecting upon the military axiom, no plan survives contact with an enemy. In this case Bolden’s enemies are the Congressmen and women hell bent on not accepting the president Barack Obama spaceflight plan
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