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#51 2007-03-14 08:58:37

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
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Re: COTS - status

Kistler paving a way into space

By JAMES WALLACE
P-I REPORTER

The view has changed, but not the dream.

From the top-floor offices of Kistler Aerospace at Kirkland's Carillon Point, the sweeping view of Lake Washington with Seattle's skyline in the distance was breathtaking.

And the dream was out of this world -- develop a cheap, reusable rocket, something that giants such as The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin had not done.

After a bumpy road, however, one that took the company deep into debt and then into bankruptcy, many wrote off Kistler.

But Kistler is back, although now in Oklahoma City.

The former Kirkland-based company, in fact, is again building its K-1 rocket.

"So many people believed in this so strongly, and then it went dormant. A lot of them wanted back on the program, and now they are."

That's how Bob Seto, Rocketplane Kistler's chief of staff, describes the excitement around the company these days.

In August, NASA chose Rocketplane Kistler and another company, SpaceX of El Segundo, Calif., to develop an unmanned commercial spaceship that would deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

Kistler already has met one of the milestones that NASA set for it -- raise at least $40 million. Another financial milestone is coming up, but because Rocketplane Kistler is a private company, Seto would not talk about financial matters.

As part of the NASA contract, an agreement is expected soon that will allow assembly of the K-1 at the Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, Seto said. Some K-1 spacecraft parts were stored there when Kistler previously was forced to stop work on the rocket after the money ran out.


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#52 2007-03-14 10:12:28

GCNRevenger
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Re: COTS - status

"Cheap, reuseable, reliable... pick one and a half"


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#53 2007-03-14 11:57:01

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

Cheap and half as reliable?  smile

Joking aside, it would be great if RpK can do it all.


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#54 2007-03-14 12:39:47

GCNRevenger
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Posts: 6,056

Re: COTS - status

It would be swell, and possibly the only hope for the ISS or even for AltSpace in general should Elon Musk fail, but I am not going to hold my breath.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#55 2007-03-29 20:41:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,158

Re: COTS - status

RocketPlane Kistler and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement To Assemble the COTS K-1 Space Transportation System in New Orleans to use NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF)

Lockheed Martin will assemble and perform system testing of both first and second stages of the K-1 Space Transportation System at MAF. Additionally, they will assemble and check out both the pressurized and un- pressurized cargo modules. These cargo modules will demonstrate RpK's ability to safely and reliably berth with the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program.

RPK is well underway in designing and "cutting metal" for the first K-1 vehicle. Liquid oxygen tanks built by Lockheed Martin for both the first and second stages are already at the Michoud facility ready for installation. External panels from Northrop Grumman have arrived and will be soon be readied for assembly.

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#56 2007-06-18 12:43:36

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

Commercial Space Transportation Agreements - 18 Jun 2007

WASHINGTON - Through three new Space Act agreements, NASA is expanding cooperation with companies interested in commercializing access to space. The companies are developing capabilities to transport goods and people to low Earth orbit.

NASA signed nonreimbursable Space Act agreements, which do not provide any government funding to the companies, with SpaceDev of Poway, Calif., SPACEHAB of Houston, and Constellation Services International (CSI) of Laguna Woods, Calif. The pacts establish milestones and objective criteria by which the companies can gauge their progress in developing orbital cargo transportation capabilities.

Under the agreements, NASA will share information that will help the companies understand projected requirements for International Space Station crew and cargo transportation launch vehicles, as well as spacecraft and NASA human rating criteria.

SpaceDev, SPACEHAB and CSI will work to develop and demonstrate the vehicles, systems and operations needed to transport cargo to and from a low Earth orbit destination. SpaceDev also will include crew transport in its development program. NASA will acknowledge the companies' milestone accomplishments.

Seems that NASA also want plans D,E and F.

Constellation Services International press release - this is a clever idea that uses an onorbit Progress vehicle as a space tug to dock a CSI cargo canister - details here (PDF)


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#57 2007-07-19 08:27:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: COTS - status

Everything OK, says Rocketplane Despite funding problems and layoffs

Rocketplane officials failed to meet a funding deadline mandated by a NASA contract to build a reusable rocket

Rocketplane diverted funds from its suborbital space passenger subsidiary to the reusable orbital subsidiary, according to laid-off Chief Technical Officer David Urie.

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#58 2007-08-07 16:59:32

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

NASA Solicits Input for Commercial Space Transportation Services - 7 Aug 2007

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday NASA issued a Request for Information soliciting ideas and feedback to help shape the plan to procure safe, cost effective, and reliable logistics services to the International Space Station and other payload launch services.

Sponsored by NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate, this request seeks input from companies that are working to provide commercial transportation services to space. This information will be used to help structure future commercial launch services contracts as well as the second phase of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services initiative to acquire commercial cargo services to the station after the space shuttle's retirement in 2010.

Responders are asked to provide information and feedback, including:
- a description of the service provider's current and planned capability,
- existing NASA policies on certification and oversight of launch vehicles,
- any improvements NASA can make in commercial transportation services contract structures that would provide incentives, and
- recommendations on commercial contract terms and conditions.

So the COTS contracts are still open.


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#59 2007-09-10 12:20:11

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

RpK's COTS Contract Terminated

Sep 10, 2007

By Frank Morring, Jr./Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

NASA has informed Congress it is terminating its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) because the company has failed to meet financial milestones.

Aides said that after reviewing the company's performance, the space agency sent RpK formal notification Sept. 7 saying that additional activity under the agreement is "not in the best interest" of NASA.

Written notification sets up a 30-day termination process that will end NASA development funding of the company's K-1 reusable launch vehicle. RpK and SpaceX had been sharing about $500 million in NASA seed money under the COTS program intended to spur development of commercial vehicles able to resupply the International Space Station with cargo and eventually crew after the space shuttle retires in 2010.

RpK had negotiated a July 31 deadline with NASA to raise $500 million in private funds to complete development of K-1. That would have freed more of the NASA funds, which were linked to technical and financial performance milestones.

When RpK failed to meet the deadline, the agency continued to work with the company while it sought financing. Scott Horowitz, associate administrator for exploration systems, said July 13 that if RpK failed to meet its financial milestones, unspent funds intended for it could be shifted to one or more of the other companies that have signed unfunded COTS agreements with NASA (Daily, July 16).

sad


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#60 2007-09-24 20:47:13

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,158

Re: COTS - status

Looks like there will be another contender to support the ISS...
CONSTELLATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL AND UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE AGREE TO STUDY LAUNCHING

LEO Express™ cargo canisters on Atlas V launch vehicles.

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#61 2007-09-25 04:29:02

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

Yes this is a very clever solution, also note that these LEO express canisters can be launched on almost any vehicle.

Recently ULA offered a wide range of options for COTS using Atlas and Delta launchers (2MB PDF) - September 2007


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#62 2007-10-18 01:04:23

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

SpaceX Successfully Completes NASA Critical Design Review

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- SpaceX has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for its first Falcon 9 / Dragon mission as part of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration program. During a three day period, SpaceX hosted a group of over forty top level NASA representatives and key SpaceX customers for a review of the design of the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft and associated ground systems for the first COTS demonstration mission. Three weeks prior to the review, SpaceX submitted more than 480 design documents to NASA for detailed review by its experts. At the review, twenty six speakers gave thirty two presentations on over two dozen different topics including aerodynamics, propulsion, communication, ground processing, flight operations, recovery and more. The event was held in the 60 ft tall high bay at SpaceX's new 550,000 square foot (51,000 sq. m.) headquarters in Hawthorne, California, a facility formerly used to build Boeing 747 fuselage sections. On display were several pieces of Falcon 9 hardware and tooling, a full sized engineering model of the Dragon spacecraft, and the new Merlin 1C engine developed by SpaceX.

    During the event, all comments and questions raised by NASA's experts were satisfactorily addressed by the SpaceX design team, which resulted in official NASA approval. With this, SpaceX continues its track record of meeting all COTS milestones on schedule. "In terms of overall design maturity of the Falcon 9 project, we are well ahead of the curve for a program of this size," said Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. "Few CDRs feature multiple hardware items in fabrication, assembly, integration and test phases." The Dragon spacecraft is designed to transport up to seven astronauts, as well as both pressurized and unpressurized cargo, to Earth orbit and back. The architecture allows for berthing/docking with the International Space Station, as well as private space stations that may come into being.

    As part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition, SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 with a cargo carrying Dragon spacecraft on a series of three demonstration missions to the International Space Station, culminating with the delivery of supplies to the $100 billion dollar orbiting laboratory. SpaceX intends to demonstrate its launch, maneuvering, berthing and return abilities by 2009 -- a year before NASA has scheduled the conclusion of Space Shuttle operations.


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#63 2007-10-18 15:32:48

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

New Competition for Space Transportation Seed Money - 18 Oct 2007

WASHINGTON - NASA announced Thursday it will conduct a new competition for funding that remains in NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Project, known as COTS.

The new competition follows NASA's decision to terminate its funded agreement with aerospace firm Rocketplane Kistler of Oklahoma City, which repeatedly failed to meet agreed-upon milestones in its effort to develop and demonstrate commercial transportation capabilities to low Earth orbit. NASA informed Rocketplane Kistler Thursday of its decision in a letter signed by Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Rick Gilbrech.

"NASA remains fully committed to the COTS Project," said Alan Lindenmoyer, who as manager of the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office oversees the COTS Project.

"We'll be releasing a synopsis for the new competition Friday and the full announcement for a new round of industry proposals on Monday."

Companies will have 30 days to respond to Monday's announcement, and NASA intends to enter into one or more new COTS agreements early next year. Companies that are U.S. commercial providers, as defined in the Commercial Space Act, will be eligible.


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#64 2007-11-05 13:13:57

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

TN-379573_071105DreamChaser.jpg
SpaceDev Completes First Milestone

POWAY, CA--(Marketwire - November 5, 2007) - SpaceDev, Inc. (OTCBB: SPDV) recently completed its first milestone under the Space Act Agreement that it signed with NASA in June 2007. This significant first milestone is to define the outer mold line (OML) of the SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ space vehicle. The SpaceDev team generated a surface model that will be used for future analysis, subscale flight test modeling, and full scale tooling of the Dream Chaser™ flight vehicle. The Dream Chaser™ OML surface model was derived from digitized scans of the original NASA Langley wind-tunnel tested models, which are currently on loan to SpaceDev.

SpaceDev entered into the Space Act Agreement with NASA's Johnson Space Center to facilitate its development of reliable, safe and affordable transportation of passengers and cargo to and from Earth orbit. As part of the agreement, NASA is providing support regarding commercial vehicle requirements for rendezvous and docking with the ISS as well as ongoing regularly scheduled technical exchange.

"The completion of this initial milestone demonstrates the value of the NASA Space Act Agreement program and how well the SpaceDev and NASA teams are working together to forward the SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ space system," said Mark N. Sirangelo, SpaceDev's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Sirangelo continued, "SpaceDev is proud to have completed a significant technical milestone and we are proceeding forward on schedule with our program."

The SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ space vehicle is a derivative of the HL-20 Launch System developed by NASA Langley. The vehicle has on-board propulsion utilizing SpaceDev's patented hybrid motor technology. This unique space transportation system is designed to effectively, reliably and safely carry crew/passengers and cargo in both the suborbital and orbital flight regimes. The SpaceDev Dream Chaser™ space vehicle can be adapted to various mission configurations including carrying up to six passengers, a combination of passengers and cargo, or a maximized cargo configuration. It is a piloted space solution which launches vertically and lands horizontally on conventional runways. Initial flight demonstrations are scheduled in 2009.


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#65 2007-11-19 14:29:19

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

SPACEHAB supporting key milestones

Houston, Texas, November 19, 2007 – SPACEHAB, Incorporated (NASDAQ: SPAB), a leading provider of commercial space services, today announced that in accordance with the milestone requirements of the previously announced Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA, the Company hosted a formal Systems Requirements Review of its Advanced Research and Conventional Technology Utilization Spacecraft (ARCTUS) on October 25-26 at its Houston Headquarters facility. Attendees included representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, United Launch Alliance, Cimarron, Inc., and Lockheed Martin.

The unfunded SAA, signed in June 2007, facilitates the Company's development of a commercial transportation system capable of ferrying cargo between Earth and Low Earth Orbit. SPACEHAB has engaged key suppliers to support major elements of the ARCTUS program including launch services provider, United Launch Alliance, spacecraft bus component supplier, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Cimarron, tasked with mission control center development and integration, and Odyssey Space Research, LLC, providing trajectory analysis and integration services.

"Our ARCTUS solution is a low cost, low risk design solution that seamlessly integrates flight proven components and does not require the development of a new launch vehicle," said Rick Fitts, ARCTUS Program Manager. "With the arrival of the ARCTUS pressure shell mockup into our Houston facilities in July, we received the first hardware component of this innovative program," said Fitts. SPACEHAB engineers are currently using the 500 pound mockup for internal pressurized cargo accommodation designs.

Capable of delivering and returning pressurized cargo to and from Low Earth Orbit, ARCTUS will supply a critical 'means to an end' for two distinct, yet complementary, space transport needs. First, ARCTUS supports NASA's requirement to fill the International Space Station (ISS) cargo transport gap between the space shuttle's planned 2010 retirement and when its replacement Constellation program becomes operational in 2015. Second, ARCTUS provides SPACEHAB with an additional means of space access in support of the Company's previously announced microgravity processing initiatives, many of which are destined for production and processing on the ISS.

Consistent with the terms of the SAA, SPACEHAB conducted its Program Management Plan review in June 2007. In addition, a spacecraft Concept Review, including representatives from all ARCTUS spacecraft systems providers, was held on November 8, 2007 at Lockheed Martin's facilities in Denver, Colorado. The ARCTUS team continues to develop the spacecraft vehicle and ground systems design and is focused on the next major milestone, the Preliminary Design Review scheduled for early 2008.

Astrotech Research & Conventional Technology Utilization Spacecraft (ARCTUS) (PDF)

ARCTUS will utilize existing components from the Centaur Upper Stage as well as other existing spacecraft hardware and be flown on existing U.S. based launch vehicles. In its smallest configuration, ARCTUS accommodates up to 3 mT of ISS external Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) as well as providing accommodations for 1.9 mT of pressurized cargo. Low G reentry capability is provided using LARC IRVE inflatable heat shield technology combined with mid-air helicopter retrieval for the lowest cost, lowest G level retrieval system, and highest return mass fraction possible.

Another interesting COTS idea!


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#66 2007-11-20 03:32:15

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

Thanks to spacetransportnews these links are available for COTS agreements:

Constellation Services  (PDF) - June 2007

September 2009
Milestone 13: launch to LEO Testbed

Description: Demonstration mission launch and orbital demonstration.

Success Criteria: Docking to LEO testbed and return of orbital vehicle with no flight vehicle or ground systems anomalies and all test objectives defined in the test plan have been accomplished.

PlanetSpace (PDF) - March 2007

Dec 2009 Milestone 31: Complete the First Demonstration Flight

Description: Demonstrate the capability to deliver cargo/payloads that operate within a volume maintained at normal atmospheric pressure to a LEO test bed and safely return cargo.

Success Criteria:
• Successful first flight of Silver Dart to orbit with recovery of booster components from the ocean surface.
• Successful visit of Silver Dart to an orbital test bed.
• Safe return of Silver Dart to earth.
• All post flight analysis of data is nominal.

SpaceHab - (PDF) - June 2007

December 2009 Milestone 12: Orbital Demonstration Mission

Description: SPACEHAB shall conduct a space flight mission to demonstrate the ability to deliver a specified amount of cargo to a specified location in space. Detailed test objectives will be described in the Flight Test Plan. This flight demonstration will be to a SPACEHAB-provided orbital testbed, not the ISS.

Success Criteria: Completion of all test objectives as listed in the Flight Test Plan.

t/Space (PDF) - March 2007

Oct 2010 Milestone 25: Orbital Test Flight

Description: t/Space shall write a test plan for and then complete a CXV orbital flight test verifying booster and CXV system performance. This flight shall demonstrate compliance with applicable crew transportation requirements.

Success criteria:
1) Complete orbital test in accordance with test plan.
2) Test results are documented.
3) All applicable lessons learned for organizational improvement and system operations are captured.

SpaceDev (PDF) - June 2007

September 2011 Milestone 18 Orbital launch of DC-3

Description: Vertical launch of DC-3 on Launch vehicle to orbit

Success criteria: DC-3 will successfully complete two Earth orbits and achieve a horizontal landing with no anomalies to vehicle or ground systems during the mission.


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#67 2007-11-20 13:28:43

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
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Re: COTS - status

I sincerely hope some of these will pan out.  So far only Bigelow has proven to be competent enough to handle space flight and being more than just a one-hit-wonder at it, but obviously we need a vehicle that can shuttle down to Earth.

Hopefully COTS won't prove to be NASA's bane but at least there' potential.

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#68 2007-11-20 13:34:26

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

Both SpaceDev and SpaceHab are well established space engineering companies with far more experience than Bigelow.

SpaceDev missions

SpaceHab missions


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#69 2007-11-22 03:22:50

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

PLANETSPACE, Lockheed Martin and ATK team up (PDF) - 21 Nov 2007

PlanetSpace, a leader in commercializing space and developer of space related technologies, today announced it has submitted its proposal to NASA to flight demonstrate cargo and crew delivery capability to the ISS in response to NASA’s COTS Phase 1 RFP. “We have been working closely with our Lockheed Martin, ATK, and BMO team mates over the past 6 months and have developed an innovative, low risk business plan and technical approach that can deliver cargo to the ISS economically and has the added benefits of providing low cost launch services to commercial and NASA customers” said Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria, Chairman of PlanetSpace.


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#70 2007-12-21 02:09:44

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

Andrews Space Reveals Cargo Vehicle Design Work

SEATTLE, Wash., December 12, 2007 – Andrews Space today disclosed details of its Andrews Cargo Module, a cargo logistics system capable of addressing NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) cargo logistics requirements, as well as the needs of emerging customers like Bigelow Aerospace and the Department of Defense.

The Andrews Cargo Module is a reusable spacecraft capable of delivering 3.7 metric tons of cargo to and from the ISS.  It is comprised of a common Service Module, a Pressurized (PCM) or Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM), and a Recovery Module. This modular approach allows the system to cost-effectively address a wide range of mission requirements and customers.


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#71 2007-12-22 10:53:26

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

SpaceX Passes NASA Review of Their Plans to Dock with Space Station - 19 Dec 2007

SpaceX just passed the Systems Requirement Review of its docking demonstration flight for the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) Program. SpaceX is planning three demonstration flights of its cargo vehicle, Dragon. The first launch will take the Dragon capsule to orbit for five hours (possibly fall 2008), the second flight will take it to orbit for five days and the third flight will have Dragon fly empty to the International Space Station (ISS) and dock to it safely.

“Because we connect to the ISS on this mission, NASA applied significant additional scrutiny to ensure the safety of the station and its crew,” said Max Vozoff, SpaceX Mission Manager. The team answered all the concerns NASA had and continued its record of meeting all the COTS program milestones.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX said, "The Falcon 9 / Dragon system will ensure that there is no gap in US space transportation capabilities following retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2010." A big claim, especially in light of Rep. Weldon's (R-Fl) concerns expressed earlier this week about a gap.


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#72 2008-01-07 11:37:34

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

SpaceDev Completes Second Milestone

POWAY, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--Jan 7, 2008 -- SpaceDev, Inc. (OTC BB:SPDV.OB - News) recently completed its second milestone under the Space Act Agreement that was signed with NASA in June 2007. The significant milestone completed is the Flight Test Plan for the Dream Chaser™ space vehicle. The plan provides a detailed approach for the Dream Chaser(TM) to conduct numerous suborbital flight tests in preparation for its first orbital flight later this decade.


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#73 2008-01-11 09:07:54

gaetanomarano
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From: Italy
Registered: 2006-05-06
Posts: 701

Re: COTS - status

.

COTS actually IS a good idea and a revolution of the past NASA policy about space hardware contractors, but the practical application of COTS is VERY BAD and FLAWED in several points

that since to-day's COTS is just a DUPLICATION (of research, efforts and vehicles) with ready (or soon) available (or old) things rather than the development of NEW things

my opinion about "What's wrong in COTS" (and HOW to do it BETTER) is explained in this new ghostNASA article:

http://www.ghostnasa.com/posts/020wrongcots.html

.

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#74 2008-01-11 09:42:51

cIclops
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Re: COTS - status

my opinion about "What's wrong in COTS" (and HOW to do it BETTER) is explained in this new ghostNASA article:

Please outline your criticisms and "better idea" here for discussion.


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#75 2008-01-11 09:50:54

gaetanomarano
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Posts: 701

Re: COTS - status

Please outline your criticisms and "better idea" here for discussion.

to-day's COTS goal is to develop two rocket and ISS transport services, that's a duplication of dozens already existing rockets and already existing ISS services

my suggestion is that COTS should fund 10+ new and complementary projects like orbital refuel, reusable rockets, etc.

.

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