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Commercial Crew Development

In 2010, in the first phase of the program, NASA provided $50 million combined to five American companies; the money was intended for research and development into private-sector human spaceflight concepts and technologies. NASA solicited a second set of CCdev proposals for technology development projects lasting for a maximum of 14 months in October of that year. In April 2011, NASA announced they would award up to nearly $270 million to four companies as they met their CCDev 2 objectives.
The objectives of the Commercial Crew & Cargo Program are to implement U.S. Space Exploration policy with investments to stimulate the commercial space industry; facilitate U.S. private industry demonstration of cargo and crew space transportation capabilities with the goal of achieving safe, reliable, cost effective access to low-Earth orbit; and create a market environment in which commercial space transportation services are available to Government and private sector customers.
Contract funding for the CCDev program is different from traditional space industry contractor funding used on the Space Shuttle, Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury programs. Contracts are explicitly designed to fund subsystem technology development objectives that NASA wants for NASA purposes; all other system technology development is funded by the commercial contractor. Contracts are issued for fixed-price, pay-for-performance milestones. "NASA's contribution is fixed".
NASA bought seats on the Russian launcher even while the Space Shuttle was active, and partners in the International Space Station project needed to cross-train on each-others launchers and equipment. When the STS program ended, this aspect of the involvement in ISS continued, and NASA has a contract for seats until at least 2017. The price has varied over time, and the batch of seats from 2016 to 2017 works out to 70.7 million per passenger per flight. The use of the Russian launcher Soyuz by NASA was a part of the ISS program which was orchestrated in the 1990s when that project was planned out: it is used as the emergency lifeboat for the station even before the Space Shuttle retired so anyone staying on the station had to train on this spacecraft regardless. The first Soyuz flight to ISS in 2000 included a U.S. astronaut (Soyuz TM-31 as part of Expedition 1). U.S. astronauts regularly flew on the Soyuz while the Shuttle program regularly visited the Station, even as it brought major components. Likewise Russian and other international partners also flew on the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz spacecraft, sometimes only on one direction of the journey.
The U.S. government's was originally intended to use a new contracting mechanism for CCiCap that differed from the Space Act Agreement's fixed-price, milestone-based contracts of the previous phases. As of October 2011, NASA was planning to award competitive contracts under the more traditional Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) system instead of using Space Act Agreements. After some months of planning for the new-style contracting approach, NASA announced in mid-December 2011 it would resume use of Space Act Agreements because of Congressional funding reductions to the program for Fiscal Year 2012. NASA planned to use FAR contracts for the certification of Commercial Transportation Services to the ISS. The final RFP was released on February 7, 2012, with proposals due on March 23, 2012.