BOEING ANNOUNCES TEAM TO FLY STARLINER SPACE CAPSULE
by Chris Ferguson Published on August 3, 2018
Chris Ferguson, Boeing director of Starliner Crew and Mission Systems and a former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle commander wears the brand new spacesuit from Boeing and David Clark that crews will wear on Starliner missions to the ISS. Credit: Boeing
I have BIG news.
When I retired as a Space Shuttle Commander from NASA in 2011, I was certain that my spaceflight days had come to a close. Last week Boeing announced that they will give me one more spaceflight opportunity as the official test pilot for the inaugural flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft.
But I will not be making this journey alone.
It’s my honor to introduce you to the four truly amazing American astronauts NASA has selected as Starliner crew members.
The astronauts and I will be flying in the groundbreaking Starliner spacecraft – a product I have been personally involved in helping to develop the last few years with my team at Boeing.
Watch U.S. Fly will keep you updated us as we embark on the journey of a lifetime to the International Space Station on America’s newest crewed spacecraft.
We'll probably see more and more of this as NASA embraces private companies for space exploration.
SpaceX Protests NASA Launch Contract Award
By Jeff Foust, Spaceflight February 15, 2019
WASHINGTON — SpaceX has filed a protest over the award of a launch contract to United Launch Alliance for a NASA planetary science mission, claiming it could carry out the mission for significantly less money.
The protest, filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Feb. 11, is regarding a NASA procurement formally known as RLSP-35. That contract is for the launch of the Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter, awarded by NASA to ULA Jan. 31 at a total cost to the agency of $148.3 million.
The GAO documents did not disclose additional information about the protest, other than the office has until May 22 to render a decision. NASA said that, as a result of the protest, it’s halted work on the ULA contract.
"NASA has issued a stop work order on the agency's Lucy mission after a protest of the contract award was filed with the Government Accountability Office," agency spokesperson Tracy Young said Feb. 13. "NASA is always cognizant of its mission schedule, but we are not able to comment on pending litigation."
SpaceX confirmed that the company was protesting the contract. "Since SpaceX has started launching missions for NASA, this is the first time the company has challenged one of the agency's award decisions," a company spokesperson said in a statement to SpaceNews.
"SpaceX offered a solution with extraordinarily high confidence of mission success at a price dramatically lower than the award amount, so we believe the decision to pay vastly more to Boeing and Lockheed for the same mission was therefore not in the best interest of the agency or the American taxpayers," the spokesperson added. ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
NASA said at the time of the award that it was a competitive procurement, but did not disclose the number or identity of bidders. SpaceX did not comment at that time if it submitted a bid, although industry sources, speaking on background, said that SpaceX proposed launching the mission on a fully expendable Falcon 9 rocket in order to maximize performance.
A key factor in the decision to award the contract to ULA was schedule certainty. Lucy has a complex mission profile with a series of flybys in order to visit several asteroids either leading or following Jupiter in its orbit around the sun. That results in a launch window that is open for only about 20 days in October 2021. Should the launch miss that window, the mission cannot be flown as currently planned.
ULA emphasized its adherence to schedule in its announcement of the contract. "This mission has a once-in-a-lifetime planetary launch window, and Atlas V's world-leading schedule certainty, coupled with our reliability and performance provided the optimal vehicle for this mission," Tory Bruno, president and chief executive of ULA, said in a Jan. 31 statement about the launch award.
"ULA entered into an open competition for NASA's Lucy spacecraft and was honored to be awarded this important science mission," ULA said in a Feb. 13 statement to SpaceNews. "This interplanetary mission has an extremely narrow launch window in order to reach all of the desired planetary bodies and accomplish the science objectives. If Lucy misses this launch window, the full mission cannot be accomplished for decades.
casper: I'm back again!!! Maybe this time my computer won't die like it did the last time.
Apr 29, 2018 19:36:04 GMT -6
casper: Skywalker just fixed it. You know what that means. It's doomed.
Apr 29, 2018 19:36:53 GMT -6
skywalker: Very funny, ghost boy
Jun 3, 2018 14:58:58 GMT -6
lois: Casper he should come fix mine. Mine is doomed
Jun 26, 2018 21:54:27 GMT -6
spotless38: Iam back after a long break . What a couple of years I had . After what had happened I lost my brother and had to bury him and then I had caught that type A flue and I was a very sick puppy I also needed blood for the loss of it .
Jul 7, 2018 13:30:41 GMT -6
lois: Very Happy to see you Ron. Missed you. Glad you are doing better now. Sorry for your lost. I did not know your brother had passed. hugs lois
Jul 10, 2018 0:52:45 GMT -6
paulette: Ron - hope you've hit a quiet spot. Sorry for your loss.
Aug 3, 2018 10:49:30 GMT -6
lois: I picked up my phone a few days ago and I looked at the name of the caller. Boy was I surprise. It has been a couple of years. So good to hear your voice Ron. Hope you make it a habit again. love and hugs .
Aug 15, 2018 23:21:38 GMT -6
leia77: Spotless, I am glad that you are feeling better and welcome back! I too am back from a long time away...
Aug 31, 2018 2:08:32 GMT -6
jcurio: I am much relieved to see that you have been on here, Spotless! I hope that things are going much better for you now
Sept 19, 2018 16:46:42 GMT -6
jcurio: And Lois, And Lorelei!
Sept 19, 2018 16:47:07 GMT -6
casper: And Meeeeeee!!
Oct 16, 2018 18:41:31 GMT -6
lois: Sorry guys I cannot see the print. On is tiny hand computer
Oct 21, 2018 20:42:09 GMT -6
lois: Casper your page stops at page five in 2016
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:01 GMT -6
lois: How did your Halloween night go this year?
Nov 15, 2018 23:54:58 GMT -6
skywalker: He posted on the Halloween thread this year.
Nov 25, 2018 18:33:36 GMT -6
lois: Oh ok Sky I will check it out. Thanks.
Dec 21, 2018 21:45:31 GMT -6
lois: What topic was it under.
Dec 21, 2018 21:51:07 GMT -6