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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida -- The future of human space transportation, not only into Earth orbit, but also back to the Moon and onto Mars, kick-started this week as NASA received contractor proposals for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).
“Our CEV will certainly be capable of servicing station,” McKenzie stated, but the company’s proposal did not address that use as a key top requirement. This prospect would receive a thorough look early in the execution of a CEV program if the firm is selected, he said.
It also appears that it may be a 2-4 person vehicle.
Originally posted by Murcielago
...but at least its a spaceplane and not a capsule.
Griffin: NASA Will Pick Cheapest Option For Boosting CEV
05/04/2005 09:06:09 AM
By Jefferson Morris
Administrator Michael Griffin said during a speech in Washington May 3 that NASA will pick the cheapest option for launching the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) into orbit, but added that he will not discard the space shuttle's launch stack "lightly."
"It's my job now to be a responsible steward of the government's money," Griffin said during a breakfast sponsored by Women in Aerospace (WIA). "I will be advocating whatever method of getting Crew Exploration Vehicle to orbit that seems to me to be the cheapest."
The two leading candidates for boosting the CEV are a shuttle-derived system or an upgraded version of the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. While professing indifference toward which launch system is used, Griffin said the shuttle launch stack already offers the kind of performance needed to send hardware to the moon.
"As NASA administrator today, I already own a heavy lifter," Griffin said. "Every time I launch, I launch more than 100 metric tons into low orbit, which of course is what you need for returning to the moon. ... I will not give that up lightly, and in fact, can't responsibly do so, because it seems to me that any other solution for getting 100 metric tons to orbit is going to be more expensive that utilizing efficiently what we, NASA, already own."
Griffin said that NASA's best estimates put the weight of the planned CEV at 30 metric tons or more. NASA recently received proposals from contractors hoping to build the CEV.
Originally posted by Realist05
I agree that a capsule is definitely the best option, the latest Boeing promotional art released yesterday shows them going that way.
Originally posted by Flinx
They've been talking about this for years. They've been making designs for years...why don't they do it? In the time they've been trying to get that old, expensive deathtrap spaceshuttle ready to fly again, they could have built a new CEV.