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NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Manager Hosts Tweet Chat
Commercial Crew Program Manager Ed Mango Image above: Ed Mango, NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) manager, answers questions during a live Tweet Chat. At left, is Brittani Sims, a member of the CCP team.
Image credit: NASA/Gianni Woods
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NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager, Ed Mango, hosted a Tweet Chat on April 27 to give the program's Twitter followers from around the world an opportunity to ask questions about the agency's efforts to get astronauts to the International Space Station aboard American rockets and spacecraft. Mango stuck to the social networking service's 140 character limit and answered dozens of questions.

Here's a re-cap of the program's first Tweet Chat . . .

@rocketjohnnyk: @Commercial_Crew #AskCCP will tourism be allowed to fly to ISS via CCP? Will sponsors be allowed to defray costs, or is that not allowed?
@Commercial_Crew: Right now, our focus is to use CCP capabilities to get NASA crews to and from the ISS to perform critical research. @rocketjohnnyk #AskCCP

@wikkit: @Commercial_Crew What's the official #AskCCP view on down-selecting to two providers immediately?
@Commercial_Crew: Competition is a critical piece of the Commercial Crew Program, especially during the design and early development phases. @wikkit #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Competition during these phases will keep the total government investment lower than if we just had a single provider. @wikkit #AskCCP

@TRebhahn: @Commercial_Crew How are you going to deal with the house of representatives demands to cut the number of competitors? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: NASA will implement bills that are passed by the full Congress and signed by the president. @TRebhahn #AskCCP

@SpaceKSCBlog: #AskCCP @Commercial_Crew This summer, will the CCiCap rewards result in reducing the number of candidates?
@Commercial_Crew: All I can say about CCiCap is "stay tuned." @SpaceKSCBlog #AskCCP

@rcktman816: #AskCCP Do you have any cool videos?
@Commercial_Crew: I really like this new video about the challenges engineers face in developing launch abort systems http://go.nasa.gov/ISh7to @rcktman816 #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: More Commercial Crew-related videos can be found here: http://go.nasa.gov/IoO9SQ @rcktman816 #AskCCP

@astroroach: How will NASA man-rate commercial launchers or spacecraft without getting so far in the weeds they end up doing the engineering? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: NASA and CCP developed a collaborative process of insight to provide support to our commercial providers. @astroroach #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: We've already outlined high-level requirements for our partners to meet before they begin flying our astronauts. @astroroach #AskCCP

@SpaceUpHOU: #askccp Are you planning to take #commercialcrew mockups around country to get the public support like Orion is doing?
@Commercial_Crew: The companies own their respective mock-ups, so it's up to them how they're displayed. @SpaceUpHOU #AskCCP

@rocketjohnnyk: #AskCCP should all launch vehicle development be moved out of NASA and over to Commerce to separate Science versus ride funding fights?
@Commercial_Crew: NASA's 50 yrs of human spaceflight is critical to making future systems safe for crews to reach ISS for research. @rocketjohnnyk #AskCCP

@georgiadog: @Commercial_Crew Are any of @NASA's Commercial Crew Program assets being constructed in Georgia, USA? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Not yet, but there are at least 63 companies working in 26 states to get Americans into space on US-led vehicles. @georgiadog #AskCCP

@lonseidman: How are commercial ventures interfacing with some of the more experienced contractors? i.e. Hamilton,etc. Do business models align? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: CCP has a portfolio of commercial partners with a wide range of spaceflight experience. @lonseidman #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: To learn more about CCP's current partners, please visit our home page at http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew @lonseidman #AskCCP

@memoAtNYC: #AskCCP Having gone over NASA Human Rating standards...how much of a challenge is it? expensive? how long?
@Commercial_Crew: It's very challenging! NASA has published its top-level safety & performance requirements. @memoAtNYC #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Companies will flow down those requirements to their design parameters. Cost will depend on the design used. @memoAtNYC #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: CCP plans to have a transportation capability certified around mid-decade. @memoAtNYC #AskCCP

@WBTVCamMan: @askccp With the shuttle Enterprise touching down @JFK this morning, when can we, as Americans, expect to head back into space?
@Commercial_Crew: Americans are in space right now aboard the International Space Station. @WBTVCamMan #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Currently, we're using Russian Soyuz to get to ISS. @WBTVCamMan #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: We can expect to see Americans launching aboard American vehicles near the middle of the decade with CCP's help. @WBTVCamMan #AskCCP

@georgiadog: @Commercial_Crew Will commercial entities allow @NASA to live stream launches and other events online on NASATV unfiltered? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: That's something we will work out with our partners well in advance of a launch. @georgiadog #AskCCP

@markratterman: #AskCCP Is competition really likely when this is expected to be a low volume business. (At least for US Govt needs)
@Commercial_Crew: Commercial companies already are creating business models for access to low Earth orbit for cargo and crew. @markratterman #AskCCP

@Leone_SN: What I want to #AskCCP is: who actually gets to pick the winners for round three of the program (CCiCap?)
@Commercial_Crew: As with all government agreements & contracts, there is a rigorous process to evaluate & award. @Leone_SN #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: The process includes procurement & legal experts, & senior NASA managers. @Leone_SN #AskCCP

@LITTMARW: #AskCCP @Commercial_Crew Will the system have the capability to support EVA work or is it strictly in support of ISS activity.
@Commercial_Crew: CCP only requires that spacecraft dock to the ISS. EVA work will continue to be performed through onboard ISS airlocks. @LITTMARW #AskCCP

@georgiadog: @Commercial_Crew Why is company logo usually placed above the American flag as on this @SpaceX Falcon 9? -> http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/imageviewer.cfm?mediaid=49734&mr=l&w=0&h=0&fn=2010-5794&sn=KSC-2010-5794 #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Since companies are designing & developing these systems, it's up to them how they display logos & flags. @georgiadog #AskCCP

@love_to_dream: Why is NASA relying on Commercial companies to fly to the ISS? Is this safe? #AskCCP @Commercial_Crew
@Commercial_Crew: With companies providing transport to low Earth orbit & ISS, NASA can focus more on deep space exploration. @love_to_dream #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Before launches on commercial systems, we'll work with the companies to certify the systems are safe. @love_to_dream #AskCCP

@Infintysquared: What about the CCP program makes you proud?#AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: We are continuing the American tradition of human space exploration. @Infintysquared #AskCCP

@Rebexster: In layman's terms what is CCP and why should Americans care if it succeeds? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: The Commercial Crew Program is about developing US led systems to carry NASA astronauts into space and to the ISS #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: Americans should care because a US-led system will enable high-tech, innovative jobs here at home. #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: CCP is important because currently America doesn’t have a transportation capability to ISS & has to rely on our Russian partners. #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: The U.S. has always been a leader in space technology & systems. Today we pay our Russian partners ~$450M a year for rides to ISS. #AskCCP

@danielvf: Planning to drive to FL with kids to watch launch. Where is the best place on KSC to view the liftoff? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: There are a # of locations along the coast to watch the launch. Bring your camera & share a piece of history w/ friends #AskCCP @danielvf

@Ralph Schiano: #AskCCP What's the timeline for human-rating Atlas and Delta?
@Commercial_Crew: @RalphSchiano Two to four years #AskCCP

@TRebhahn: #AskCCP Shouldn't Orion then be unmanned on launch? Also no need for chutes and heat shields. Why not let CCP do that work?
@Commercial_Crew: It’s all about the physics! Orbital mechanics of reentry requires two different designs…one for LEO and one for deep space #AskCCP @TRebhahn

@spacecommerce: Does Phil McALister still think that CCP is not worth doing for less than the full FY 13 request? #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: NASA, CCP fully supports efforts to develop a US led capability for access to LEO and ISS with the budget we receive #AskCCP @spacecommerce
@Commercial_Crew: The full FY13 request would enable NASA to provide transportation to ISS earlier than getting less than requested #AskCCP @spacecommerce

@rocketjohnnyk: #AskCCP As much as I like SLS, how will CCP be able to convince Congress it is the better path to a feasible path back to HSF?
@Commercial_Crew: CCP is part of NASA human spaceflight, CCP provides transportation to low Earth orbit…SLS provides capability beyond #AskCCP @rocketjohnnyk

@anthonyfitch: #AskCCP what type of public outreach is planned by @NASA with/without cooperation with Comm Crew, like Enterprise Flybys.
@Commercial_Crew: Please follow on Facebook, Twitter, http://www.NASA.gov/commercialcrew for updates on Commercial Crew development. @anthonyfitch @NASA #AskCCP

@starlingLX: #AskCCP What is your view on the current status of the CCP developments?
@Commercial_Crew: NASA and our partners are making great progress under CCDEV2 the next step will be the award of CCicap this summer #AskCCP
@Commercial_Crew: For more information on the next phase of development, go to http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/ccp_preproposal_conference.html #AskCCP @starlingLX

@TRebhahn: #AskCCP How is CCP different from Orion? There seems to be a huge amount of overlap
@Commercial_Crew: CCP & Orion compliment each other. CCP will provide transportation to LEO and ISS. Orion enables us to explore deep space #AskCCP @TRebhahn

To learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its commercial partners, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Rebecca Regan,
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center