NASA picks four companies for second round of commercial transport development

Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada, Space Exploration Technologies and The Boeing Co. each will receive $22 million to $92.3 million in NASA's second round of Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2).

NASA announced on April 18 that it has awarded four Space Act Agreements in the second round of the agency's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) effort. Each company will receive between $22 million and $92.3 million to advance commercial crew space transportation system concepts and mature the design and development of elements of their systems, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft.

The selectees for CCDev2 awards are:

  • Blue Origin (Kent, Wash.), $22 million
  • Sierra Nevada Corp. (Louisville, Colo.), $80 million
  • Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif.), $75 million
  • The Boeing Co. (Houston, Texas), $92.3 million

"We're committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said. "These agreements are significant milestones in NASA's plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low-Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration."

The goal of CCDev2 is to accelerate the availability of U.S. commercial crew transportation capabilities and reduce the gap in American human spaceflight capability. Through this activity, NASA also may be able to spur economic growth as potential new space markets are created.

Once developed, crew transportation capabilities could become available to commercial and government customers.

"The next American-flagged vehicle to carry our astronauts into space is going to be a U.S. commercial provider," said Ed Mango, NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager. "The partnerships NASA is forming with industry will support the development of multiple American systems capable of providing future access to low-Earth orbit."

These awards are a continuation of NASA's CCDev initiatives, which began in 2009 to stimulate efforts within U.S. industry to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/exploration.