If all goes according to plan today, at 4:32 pm Eastern, astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center, and become the first humans to fly to orbit from the U.S. since the launch of STS-135 in 2011. This is an exciting time and I believe a lot of cool things are coming, which will be traced to the success of the Commercial Crew Program.
Trump is attending the launch, and no doubt he’ll have either some prepared remarks or at least a tweet storm about how “NASA was dead when I was elected, but look at how I brought it back” or some other comment. Don’t believe it — instead, history will credit his predecessor.
Commercial Crew got it’s start with President Obama’s Recovery Act, when $50 Million was directed to "be used for the development of commercial crew space transportation concepts and enabling capabilities.” From there, the program expanded and grew. The final iteration of it, called the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program, includes crewed flights to the International Space Station. And, just to review — CCtCap was awarded in 2014.
And just in case anyone wants to see evidence of it.…
This chart is from a NASA briefing about the status of the Commercial Crew Program.
It was presented to the subcommittee on Human Exploration and Operations subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee, just a few weeks ago.
Notice the bottom box. By embracing the commercial paradigm and avoiding cost-plus contracts, NASA managed to save the U.S. taxpayer something on the order of $20-30 Billion dollars. (Hat tip to NASAWatch for sharing this)
In short — thanks Obama.
Comments are closed on this story.