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NASA Announces Plan to Invest in Commercial Crew Concepts

Today NASA released information regarding its intention to invest $50 million of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act stimulus funding in multiple competitively awarded, funded agreements for commercial crew concepts. This new program, known as the Commercial Crew Development or “CCDev,” represents a new milestone in the development of an orbital commercial human spaceflight sector. By maturing “the design and development of commercial crew spaceflight concepts and associated enabling technologies and capabilities,” the program will allow several companies to move a few steps forward towards the ultimate goal of full demonstration of commercial human spaceflight to orbit.

According to the solicitation, “NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program is applying Recovery Act funds to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities. These efforts are intended to foster entrepreneurial activity leading to job growth in engineering, analysis, design, and research, and to economic growth as capabilities for new markets are created. By developing commercial crew service providers, NASA may be able to reduce the gap in U.S. human spaceflight capability.”

Full details from today’s NASA release can be found by clicking here.

NASA has also established a website for the new CCDev procurement, accessible at:

Proposals are due September 22, 2009 and a pre-proposal “Industry Day” will occur at the NASA Johnson Space Center on August 13, 2009. Pursuant to the requirements of the 2009 Recovery Act, the funds will need to be fully spent by September 30, 2010.