NASA has announced the on-time completion of the first milestone under NASA's commercial crew integrated capability (CCiCap) programme, meant to stimulate the development of crew-capable transport to low Earth orbit (LEO).
Sierra Nevada has completed the programme implementation plan review, and is set to receive $30 million under the terms of the space act agreement (SAA) with NASA. The company confirmed the milestone but declined further comment. Sierra Nevada could receive as much as $213 million for work on its Dream Chaser winged lifting body, currently undergoing preparations for drop tests.
Fellow awardee Boeing is nearing completion of its first milestone, an integrated systems review worth $50 million. The company is developing the CST-100, a more traditional capsule-style vehicle. Boeing could receive up to $460 million through CCiCap.
“We completed the Boeing integrated systems review (ISR) meeting today, and upon NASA concurrence that we met our success criteria this will represent successful completion of our first CCiCap milestone," says Boeing. "The ISR is an important step in defining the baseline design of our commercial crew transportation system and allows us to move towards the Critical Design Review."
The third CCiCap awardee, SpaceX, is scheduled to complete a CCiCap kick-off meeting, worth $40 million, and a financial and business review for $20 million.
While SpaceX's CCiCap milestones were not included in the NASA announcement, the company's completion of the commercial orbital transportation services (COTS) to shuttle cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS) was. With COTS completed, the company has moved beyond the testing phase and will soon launch the first of twelve commercial cargo flights to the ISS under a commercial resupply service (CRS) contract.