Court of Federal Claims to hear latest SNC Commercial Crew complaint today
Those who thought that NASA’s Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) could finally get underway with NASA’s decision to reactivate the program’s elements – might be mistaken. A report appearing on Space News details how Sierra Nevada Corporation opted, on Oct. 15, to pursue a lawsuit over the program’s fate. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., has plans to hold a hearing on the case today, Oct. 17.
This suit was filed under seal, and its contents are currently unavailable, but it’s understood to be a request by the Colorado-based firm for an injunction prohibiting NASA from allowing the two firms selected to continue developing human-rated spacecraft for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP ) from proceeding with the production of these vehicles.
This is the second legal action taken by Sierra Nevada. The first was a protest initiated through the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Sept. 26. Two weeks later, on Oct. 9, NASA allowed the two companies still working on getting the two spacecraft ready to fly crews to orbit – to proceed. On Wednesday, Oct.15, Sierra Nevada initiated the second action, the aforementioned lawsuit, in response to NASA’s move to have the program move forward.
On Sept. 16, NASA announced at Kennedy Space Center that Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Dragon V2 spacecraft had been tapped to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX has already sent an uncrewed variant of the Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory five times to date. Once under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services or “COTS” contract and four times under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS ) agreement.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.