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CCP and Excalibur Sign Space Act Agreement
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NASA's Commercial Crew Program logo. Image credit: NASA

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is entering into an unfunded Space Act Agreement with Excalibur Almaz, Incorporated (EAI) as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) activities.

The unfunded Space Act Agreement with EAI establishes a framework to enable NASA to collaborate with EAI in furthering the development EAI's spacecraft concept for low Earth orbit crew transportation. EAI's concept for commercial crew to the International Space Station is to use the company's planned tourist space vehicle in concert with an intermediate stage and fly the integrated vehicle on a commercially available launch vehicle to be determined in the near future.

"We are pleased to add Excalibur Almaz to the group of CCDev2 companies and look forward to a productive partnership," said Brent Jett, Commercial Crew Program deputy manager.

As part of this Space Act Agreement, EAI will conduct several reviews. These will include reviews of systems requirements status, launch vehicle compatibility, testing plans and status, and overall status of the design, operational and facilities plans, and integration status. NASA will participate in these reviews by providing expert feedback based on 50 years of spaceflight experience. NASA and EAI plan to kick-off these activities this month, and milestones are planned to continue through May 2012.

Under this unfunded Space Act Agreement, NASA will provide limited technical support to EAI but no funding. NASA will not receive any deliverables under this Space Act Agreement.

EAI is an independent, wholly U.S. owned company located in Houston, Texas. The Commercial Crew Program is managed by the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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 by advancing concepts and maturing the design and development of elements of the systems. NASA believes this new partnership with EAI supports this goal. 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 CCDev2 activities also include funded Space Act Agreements with: Blue Origin of Kent, Washington; Sierra Nevada Corporation of Louisville, Colorado; Space Exploration Technologies of Hawthorne, California; and the Boeing Company of Houston, Texas. In addition, there are unfunded Space Act Agreement with United Launch Alliance of Denver, Colorado; and Alliant Techsystems, Inc (ATK) of Minneapolis, Minnesota.