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Kathy Lueders: NASA Partners Approach Commercial Crew Program Tests, Reviews

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Kathy Lueders
Kathy Lueders

NASA’s industry partners are set to begin a set of tests and reviews of their spacecraft for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as the agency aims to launch astronauts into space by 2017.

Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX will work during the summer to assess materials stress, engine firings and systems in order to fulfill the requirements under their space act agreements with NASA, the agency said Monday.

“A vast array of testing and work goes into even the smallest subsystem of a spacecraft, so getting to the point where our partners evaluate integrated spacecraft, launch systems and operation details is a massive achievement for our partners,” said Kathy Lueders, program manager for CCP.

Blue Origin will begin interim design review of its space vehicle’s subsystems and Boeing will conduct a critical design review of its CST-100 spacecraft prior to the production stage.

Sierra Nevada is set to perform reaction control systems vacuum tests for its Dream Chaser spacecraft following completion of main propulsion and RCS tests in May.

SpaceX will work to evaluate the structural integrity of its Dragon spacecraft in order to verify its resistance to stress and forces during launch, in-orbit flight and return into Earth.

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