Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bolden confirms KSC will lead commercial crew office

NASA will confirm Kennedy Space Center is the lead center for the agency's commercial crew program office, Administrator Charlie Bolden said this morning.

NASA last year announced its intent to assign the office to KSC, and the center set up a planning office led by Ed Mango.

That decision will be reaffirmed in a forthcoming announcement, Bolden said at a National Space Club breakfast in Washington.

Bolden was expected to address KSC employees in an "all-hands" meeting planned at 2:30 p.m. today.

The commercial crew program was authorized in NASA legislation President Obama signed into law last Oct. 11, but no funding has been approved to implement it. The president's spending plan for 2012, released Monday, would fund the program with $850 million.

In other assignments, Bolden said Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., would lead a heavy-lift rocket program office and Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tex. would house the exploration crew capsule program office.

KSC last year was also assigned a "21st Century Launch Complex" program office to oversee infrastructure modernization, a program for which proposed funding has been cut significantly.

IMAGE: On Dec. 8, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a Dragon capsule into orbit on a NASA demonstration mission. The Dragon is a commercial contender to fly NASA crews.

1 comment:

Dr. Dan Woodard said...

This is good news. Commercial Crew programs may well have the greatest potential of any of the new NASA human spaceflight activities. But KSC must be prepared to find innovative ways to minimize costs in both time and money and focus on the resources that are essential to commercial customers while not creating obstacles for them.

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