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House to NASA: Down Select to Single Commercial Crew Competitor Immediately

25 Apr 2012, 21:24 UTC
House to NASA: Down Select to Single Commercial Crew Competitor Immediately
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The FY13 Commerce, Justice, and Science Draft Committee Report [PDF] says that NASA should immediately down select to a single competitor in the commercial crew program to save money and time in fielding a shuttle replacement:
“The Committee believes that many of these concerns would be addressed by an immediate downselect to a single competitor or, at most, the execution of a leader-follower paradigm in which NASA makes one large award to a main commercial partner and a second small award to a back-up partner.”
In short, the committee believes the commercial crew program is too expensive and will take too long. Legislators also do not believe there is a market for more than one crew provider and that the program risks becoming another Solyndra. So, they want commercial crew to look as much like a traditional NASA procurement, with one provider and procurement under traditional Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
A section of the report outlining the committee’s thinking in detailed is reproduced after the break. Thanks to Clark Lindsey for finding it.

Commercial crew.—The Committee supports the goal of achieving independent and redundant access to the International Space Station (ISS) but remains concerned about many aspects of NASA’s approach ...

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