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Why Commercial Crew Is Doomed

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NASA's Commercial Crew Development program, or "CCDev", has been a resounding success - and that's why they're not doing it anymore.

Inspired by the earlier Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, or "COTS", and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus to the tune of $50M, CCDev came out swinging in 2010 with five US companies producing impressive results on what was essentially bonus pay to NASA. As such, it was no surprise when a further $270M was provided for the second round, or "CCDev2". This round is now coming to a close, with continuing achievement from US companies with minimal oversight from NASA. Also, a number of "unfunded" CCDev agreements have been made which receive only use of NASA facilities and expertise - they too have been successful.

With all this success, it might seem strange that NASA is dropping the CCDev program - but they are. They intend to move on to a "pro…