By Keith Cowing on January 5, 2011 6:27 PM 5 Comments
“NASA/JSC has a requirement for crew transportation services including launch, return, and rescue of US or US-designated astronauts and associated services which include the following requirements for primary and ancillary services: …”
Keith’s note: Another commercial procurement of Russian Soyuz crew transport services. Alas, NASA allows these procurements to proceed even though the Soyuz does not (and probably never will) meet the requirements that NASA intends to levy upon domestic commercial space companies.
Keith’s earlier note: I did a search of this document for the word “Soyuz”. The only time the word is used is in connection with accidents or problems with Soyuz. I wonder if Soyuz meets the requirements in this document – I certainly cannot find any evidence that it does. It certainly should meet these requirements since the U.S. has been buying seats on Soyuz for more than a decade – the very same seats you can buy commercially – the same seats NASA will be buying for years to come. Will NASA certify Soyuz according to the requirements in this document?
If Soyuz does not meet these certification requirements, then one has to ask why NASA is willing to waive requirements for a foreign crew transport system – with Americans on board – but levy more stringent requirements on American commercial systems – carrying Americans. It would also be interesting to see if the Ares-1/Orion configuration would have met these requirements as well.