Astronaut Michael Good on NASA TV During Spacewalk

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Astronaut Michael Good, a veteran spacewalker who is working with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, will discuss the advances in development of NASA’s next generation of human-rated spacecraft. The discussion will come as astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough conduct the next spacewalk to outfit the orbiting laboratory to host new spacecraft in the near future including Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Both companies are working closely with NASA to build and certify the spacecraft to fly up to four astronauts at a time to the station. Watch Good’s interview below on the NASA TV feed, watch it on TV or go to www.nasa.gov/ntv  

Updated Collector Cards and Bookmarks Available Now!

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We’ve updated our collector cards and bookmarks for our aerospace industry partners in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to once again launch astronauts from the U.S.  You can download and print out your own copies today! Boeing, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Blue Origin feature in these items that show each company’s role. You can read more about the low-Earth orbit marketplace emerging for commercial space companies in our feature, “A New Market Emerges: NASA Partnerships Open the Path from Ground to Space.”

Partnerships Drive Low-Earth Orbit Marketplace

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NASA’s efforts to establish new partnerships began about 10 years ago with agreements that would become regular cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station by rockets owned and operated by private companies. NASA continues to drive for safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to low-Earth orbit with a growing diversity of crewed vehicles and cargo-carrying craft – all privately developed and operated with insight from NASA’s spaceflight experts. As NASA focuses on deep space exploration, industry stands on the cusp of the emerging marketplace of low-Earth orbit: https://go.nasa.gov/2mJG2hq

Behnken Discusses Commercial Crew Program on NASA TV

CCPBlog-Stitch2Veteran astronaut Bob Behnken is discussing NASA’s Commercial Crew Program development and training during an interview on NASA TV. Behnken is one of four NASA astronauts training for flight tests for the Commercial Crew Program. Boeing and SpaceX are working closely with NASA to build a new generation of human-rated spacecraft capable of flying astronauts to the International Space Station in order to return America’s capability to launch its astronauts from its own soil and to enhance research on the unique orbiting laboratory. Along with Behnken, astronauts Eric Boe, Doug Hurley and Suni Williams are training with Boeing and SpaceX for missions aboard spacecraft and launch systems that each company is building and will operate.

Behnken’s interview comes as NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet conduct a spacewalk this morning to further outfit the station for commercial spacecraft that will dock to the station in the future. You can watch the interview and spacewalk live here on the Commercial Crew Blog, on NASA TV or on the NASA TV website at www.nasa.gov/ntv

A rundown of the spacewalk activities can be seen in the video below, too.

I Will Launch America: Dana Hutcherson

Dana Hutcherson, NASA's Commercial Crew ProgramDana Hutcherson is part of NASA’s team of engineers working with private industry to bring a new class of spacecraft into operation. A veteran of space shuttle processing, Hutcherson is the deputy manager of Systems Engineering and Integration for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Her work is vital to the program’s goal of returning human spaceflight to U.S. soil using a model that calls for closer cooperation among the agency and the private sector. Read more about Hutcherson at https://go.nasa.gov/2nc3WyO.

Campaign Tests Parachutes Designed to Provide Astronauts a Soft Landing

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Starliner-ParachuteTestopeningA flight-sized boilerplate of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner touched down gently under parachutes against the backdrop of the San Andres Mountains in late February, providing a preview of how the spacecraft will return to Earth in upcoming NASA missions. Boeing is developing the Starliner to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The parachute test is one in a series that will allow the vehicle to pick up the same velocity as the actual spacecraft when returning to Earth in the southwest region of the United States from the International Space Station. The goal of the test series is to prove the design of the Starliner’s parachutes.

“Completion of this test campaign will bring Boeing and NASA one step closer to launching astronauts on an American vehicle and bringing them home safely,” said Mark Biesack, spacecraft systems lead for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The test began at the Spaceport America facility near the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. During the test, the Starliner was lifted about 40,000 feet in the air, the flying altitude of a typical commercial airline flight, by a Near Space Corp. helium balloon and then released over the White Sands Missile Range. Read the full story at http://go.nasa.gov/2n8qLq5

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ECLSS Systems Put to the Test for Commercial Crew Missions

ECLSS_Test - 110916 - 129A1616The Environmental Control and Life Support System of a spacecraft provides astronauts with breathing air and handles everything from temperature regulation to removing carbon dioxide as astronauts breathe.

That’s why engineers with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program work so closely with the companies building the next generation of human-rated spacecraft to make sure the systems meet agency requirements for missions to the International Space Station. Read more about the systems testing under way at http://go.nasa.gov/2lE7xIm