Space Transportation Programs 

NASA’s space transportation main goal is to transport U.S. crew and cargo safely to and from space, including the nation’s national laboratory in low Earth orbit (LEO), the International Space Station (ISS). Maintaining the laboratory necessitates a vehicle fleet and launch locations to transport crew, science experiments, supplies, maintenance hardware, propellant and for the disposal of waste. [1]

NASA’s space transportation main goal is to transport U.S. crew and cargo safely to and from space, including the nation’s national laboratory in low Earth orbit (LEO), the International Space Station (ISS). Maintaining the laboratory necessitates a vehicle fleet and launch locations to transport crew, science experiments, supplies, maintenance hardware, propellant and for the disposal of waste. [2]

CREW AND CARGO PROGRAM

The Crew and Cargo Program enables NASA to acquire cargo transportation to ISS under Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts with industry including Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada, and SpaceX. Crew transportation to ISS is purchased from Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation and from Boeing and SpaceX. [3]

COMMERCIAL CREW PROGRAM (CCP)

The Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partners with private industry to develop and operate crew transportation to LEO. Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts were awarded to Boeing and SpaceX in September 2014 to develop and provide domestic crew transportation to the ISS. CCP is funding the first Post Certification Missions (i.e., crew missions) to the ISS for each provider; the Crew and Cargo Program is funding the second and all subsequent missions.[4] On May 30, 2020, NASA astronauts launched from American soil in a commercially-built and operated American crew spacecraft for the first time in history. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carried NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, taking the crew to the ISS.[5]

Updated by Kristin Stiner, September 2020