Hiatus in NASA’s Space Taxi Project

Hiatus in NASA’s Space Taxi Project

NASA has asked Boeing and SpaceX to stop the project to build space taxis to take its astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA recently rewarded Boeing and SpaceX with contracts to build spacecrafts to ferry its astronauts into space. NASA's latest move has resulted from a protest filed by aerospace company Sierra Nevada against the decision after losing out on the bid.

Sierra Nevada was competing with Boeing and SpaceX for a share of the $6.8 billion CCP contracts. All phases of development, testing and operational flights will be covered by the contracts. A minimum of two flights and a maximum of four come under each contract as well. Moreover, each agency is required to have one test flight with a NASA representative on board.

The names of the winners of the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability were unveiled by NASA on September 16. After not being able to win the contract for building spacecraft to take NASA astronauts into space, Sierra Nevada filed a protest with the GAO on September 26, in which it asked for a further detailed review and evaluation of the submitted proposals and capabilities.

NASA's Public Affairs Office has said that all work currently being done under these contracts has been stopped because of this legal protest. NASA has refused to give any details about whether or not the companies are allowed to continue working by using private funds.

The GAO has to announce the ruling on the protest by January 5, but their response is likely to be issued in coming weeks. If the decision goes in favor of Sierra Nevada, then NASA would be required to either change its decision or start the bidding process all over again.

"SNC believes the result of further evaluation of the proposals submitted will be that America ends up with a more capable vehicle, at a much lower cost, with a robust and sustainable future", said Sierra Nevada in a press release.

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