NASA, Industry Partners Close First Certification Stage for Crew Transport Spacecraft; Phil McAlister Comments

Space Launch SystemNASA has collaborated with Boeing (NYSE: BA), Sierra Nevada and Space Exploration Technologies to complete the first phase of certification process for a spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and back.

Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX outlined their respective plans for transporting space crews to and from the ISS in 2017, NASA said Friday.

“This certification is important to ensuring our crew members have reliable transportation to and from the space station where they are conducting research essential to advancing human exploration farther into the solar system, ” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA.

The companies completed a review of how they would demonstrate the safety and performance of the Commercial Crew Program spacecraft in accordance with NASA’s requirements.

The contracts, worth a total of $30 million, were awarded in December 2012.

NASA is set to begin the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability certification process awards in late 2014.

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