Although NASA’s decision with its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) awards, in my opinion, was based upon political expediency, I have always felt that NASA could have and should have found a way to include the Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Dream Chaser [“SNC Protests Commercial Crew Award, Lays Off Staff,” Sept. 29, page 3].
Maybe NASA was remembering the problems it experienced with the development of the space shuttle, and that could have been a factor in its CCtCap decision.
We didn’t have to be talking additional billions of dollars here; for example, the $6.8 billion contract award could have been split $4 billion/$2 billion/$800 million among Boeing, Space Exploration Technologies and SNC. Surely it would have been prudent for NASA to have found some funds to have guaranteed that Dream Chaser remained alive and well, plus giving the United States a third option with regard to getting its astronauts to and from low Earth orbit.
Dream Chaser is too good a craft (in projected performance, looks and potential commercial tourism applications) for NASA not to see that it is definitely fully realized.
Come on, NASA: Voluntarily adjust your CCtCap decision and give SNC a fighting chance. Keep the Dream alive!