Blue Origin completes system requirements review of reusable capsule

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Commercial space company Blue Origin has completed the system requirements review (SRR) of its reusable Space Vehicle, which will earn the company $900,000 from NASA.

The company, founded by internet billionaire Jeff Bezos, is building Space Vehicle under a milestone-based contract with NASA, one of four awarded under the second round of commercial crew development (CCDev2) contracts.

CCDev was conceived to develop crew transportation to the International Space Station (ISS). Currently, the only human-rated transportation is provided by the Russian Soyuz, for which Roscosmos charges $60 million per seat. NASA will award $900,000 to Blue Origin for hitting the checkpoint.

The Space Vehicle (as it is formally named), a biconic capsule, will initially launch aboard the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V, but Blue Origin plans to launch using its own launch vehicle. The company is also building a reusable suborbital vehicle called New Shepherd, at least one of which was built and flown.

New Shepherd will be launched using a proprietary reusable launch vehicle, at least one of which has been built but was destroyed during a 2011 accident. No other launch vehicles are known to have flown, though as a blanket rule the company declines to comment on its programmes.

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