Commercial Crew Development Defies Death by Sticking to Space Act Agreements.

Commercial Crew Development Defies Death by Sticking to Space Act Agreements.

This critical move is a win for common sense over outdated business practices.

Nyack, NY – The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) congratulates NASA on the smart decision to continue utilizing Space Act Agreements (SAA) over the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Many feared that the pressure to use the restrictive FAR contracts would be the death of the Commercial Crew Development program (CCDev). With this victory the program, and America’s ability to reach the ISS, gets a second chance. This positive evolution of how NASA works with vehicle contractors will boost the competitive development of multiple launch providers and the NewSpace economy. The goal of achieving low cost, reliable access to space is simply better for it.

“Sometimes in the darkest hour, when all is thought to be lost, reason prevails thanks to the unyielding voice of those dedicated to a cause,” said William Watson, SFF Executive Director. “It’s enough that Congress tied one arm behind NASA’s back by slashing the CCDev budget, but shackling the program to the financial weight of FAR contracting would have been too much. It is no easy task to alter the decisions of the government so promptly.¬†Thanks to those Space Frontier Foundation Advocates, Officers and our friends in the space industry who succeeded in changing the minds of those in power.”


The decision by NASA came down on December 15, and stated that it was necessary to extend the SAAs with several commercial crew developers to properly utilize the limited CCDev budget. While there had been pressure to switch to the outdated and confining FARs, CCDev narrowly defied death once again when the more efficient and competitive contract solution won out. SAAs are the only option in light of the severely decreased budget of $406 million (from $850 million). For a brief recap of this development and the history of CCDev, check out The Daily Tech.

The SFF has been working behind the scenes to promote CCDev and SAAs. We sincerely thank the many other companies and individuals that played a crucial part in preventing FARs from ruining CCDev. We support their continued work to protect NASA’s partnership with the CCDev companies. We hope this victory will inspire the Blue Origin, SpaceX, Boeing Co. and Sierra Nevada Corp. teams in their innovative work to get NASA astronauts to space. Remember, it costs $63 million per seat to buy a ride in a Soyuz capsule!

One Comment

  • Al Globus says:

    CCDev was never near death. Even the House allocated $300 million this year, and in the end we got $400+ million. While this is far less than President Obama asked for, it is $400+ million more than anyone thought would be allocated to develop commercial, private human space launch just a couple of years ago. This is a huge victory. Enjoy it!