NASA Commercial Partner SpaceX Completes Crew Accommodations Milestone

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May 8, 2012

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
candrea.k.thomas@nasa.gov

Michael Braukus 
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1979
michael.j.braukus@nasa.gov

Kirstin Brost Grantham
SpaceX
202-649-2716
media@spacex.com

RELEASE: 12-150

NASA COMMERCIAL PARTNER SPACEX COMPLETES CREW ACCOMMODATIONS MILESTONE

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has 
finished an important evaluation of a prototype Dragon spacecraft 
designed to carry people into orbit. This key milestone is part of 
SpaceX's partnership with NASA under a funded Space Act Agreement to 
advance the design of crew transportation vehicles.

The primary goal of the tests was to determine whether the layout will 
allow astronauts to maneuver effectively in the vehicle. Several 
veteran space shuttle astronauts and NASA engineers conducted the 
evaluation during a pair of two-day-long reviews.

"I am very pleased with the progress SpaceX and our other commercial 
partners are making during the CCDev2 effort," said NASA Commercial 
Spaceflight Director Philip McAlister. "Together with NASA's 
development of beyond low-Earth-orbit systems, commercial crew and 
cargo transportation is an integral part of our overall human 
spaceflight program."

As part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2, or CCDev2, 
agreement, the company invited the astronauts and engineers to its 
headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., to conduct the evaluation. The 
prototype was equipped with seats, lighting, environmental control 
and life support systems, conceptual displays and controls, cargo 
racks and other interior systems.

"This milestone demonstrated the layout of the crew cabin supports 
critical tasks," said SpaceX Commercial Crew Development Manager 
Garrett Reisman. "It also demonstrated the Dragon interior has been 
designed to maximize the ability of the seven-member crew to do their 
jobs as effectively as possible."

During the reviews, space shuttle veterans Rex Walheim, Tony 
Antonelli, Eric Boe and Tim Kopra participated in so-called "human 
factor assessments." This included entering and exiting Dragon under 
normal and emergency scenarios. They also performed reach and 
visibility evaluations.

"As an anchor customer for commercial transportation services, we are 
happy to provide SpaceX with knowledge and lessons learned from our 
50 years of human spaceflight," said Commercial Crew Program Manager 
Ed Mango. "We appreciate the opportunity SpaceX gave us to provide 
feedback on these critical interior systems while the company 
maintains its flexibility to appeal to other customers."

This is the seventh of 10 milestones SpaceX must meet under the CCDev2 
agreement, which continues through July 31. This includes the 
development of a launch abort system for crew escape during launch or 
ascent.

All of NASA's industry partners continue to meet their established 
milestones in developing safe, reliable and affordable commercial 
crew transportation capabilities.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew 

	
-end-



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