NASA has yet to release publicly its draft requirements for commercial crew services, but it has posted them on a password-protected website, according to Wayne Hale, a former NASA space shuttle program manager who said he took a look and did not like what he saw.
Hale left NASA earlier this year and now works for Special Aerospace Services, a Boulder, Colo.-based consultancy that lists space system human rating among its core capabilities. In a Nov. 14 article on his personal blog, Hale writes that NASA’s handling of the Obama administration’s commercial human spaceflight initiative is a train wreck waiting to happen.
Here’s the key passage:
“Now NASA has released a draft (dated Oct. 8, 2010) of its requirements CCT-REQ-1130 ISS Crew Transportation and Services Requirements. I’d like for you to read it but it is behind NASA’s IT firewall and you must have an ID and password to access it. I have read it and I’m disappointed. The document runs a mind-numbing 260 pages of densely spaced requirements. Most disappointing, on pages 7 to 11 is a table of 74 additional requirements documents which must be followed, in whole or in part. Taken all together, there are thousands of requirement statements referenced in this document. And for every one NASA will require a potential commercial space flight provider to document, prove, and verify with massive amounts of paperwork and/or electronic forms. This, folks is the old way of doing business. This is one of the major reasons why spaceflight is as costly as it is.”
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