Commercial Infrastructure and Support Industries
Commercial Human Spaceflight
Multiple companies are continuing to work toward launching humans on suborbital flights in the near future…
In 2015, NASA put in orders with both SpaceX and Boeing to conduct their first operational commercial crew rotation missions under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) Program. The first operational flights would take place in late 2017, following the companies’ completion of NASA human spaceflight certification milestones, including crewed test flights to take place earlier in 2017.
In FY 2016, funding for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program increased by ##%, from $## million in FY 2015 to $## billion. Boeing and SpaceX continued to make progress in the…
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In 2005, six ISS resupply launches were made from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. NASA paid Roscosmos $## million per launch. NASA’s planned funding for COTS is shown in Exhibit 4q. In 2005, NASA spent $## billion on space operations, (which includes the shuttle and ISS) and spent $## billion on exploration systems. Note that these funds are reflected in the overall NASA budget shown for 2006.
While the personal spaceflight market is still in its early stages, revenue continues to accumulate for individual trips and as deposits for future flights. Charles Simonyi, by his own account, paid $## million for his 2007 flight to the ISS. Alex Tai, chief operating officer of Virgin Galactic, a spaceline offering suborbital flights, reported in late 2007 that the company had collected $## million in deposits for future suborbital trips aboard SpaceShipTwo.
The retirement of the Space Shuttle is spurring development of commercial cargo and crew transportation services. NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, started in 2006, has awarded contracts to private companies to develop vehicles that transport cargo and personnel to and from the ISS. Although some companies, such as Boeing and Sierra Nevada, had started vehicle development work on their own, COTS funding has sped up the development process. So far, most COTS funding has been directed toward the development of two rockets and their associated cargo-carrying spacecraft. SpaceX has developed the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, while Orbital Sciences is developing the Antares rocket and Cygnus freighter.
The retirement of the Space Shuttle created an impetus for the development of commercial cargo and crew transportation services. Several corporations are taking advantage of this space transportation capacity vacuum to speed development of new spacecraft and rockets. The milestone-driven Commercial Crew Program, based in part on COTS, was put in place in 2010 with the goal of advancing development of a commercially operated crew transportation system capable of ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS. NASA has awarded more than $## billion toward the development of commercially operated manned space vehicles through a series of phases identified in the NASA Commercial Crew Funding exhibit. In November 2013, NASA issued the final Request for Proposals for Phase 2 of the Commercial Crew Program, called the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCTCap) contract. The aim of the new funding is to ensure that commercial operators meet NASA’s safety requirements and will include at least one crewed demonstration mission to the space station before 2017. CCTCap Phase 2 awards are scheduled to be announced in mid-2014.
Since 2011, NASA has relied on contracts with the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, to send American astronauts to the ISS. The price for each seat on a Russian capsule rose to $## million in 2014, up $# million from 2013. NASA had earlier decided that the milestone-driven Commercial Crew Program, based in part on the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program, would help speed the goal of advancing development of a commercially operated crew transportation system capable of ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS. In November 2013, NASA issued the final Request for Proposals for Phase 2 of the Commercial Crew Program, called the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract.