Press Release

Constellation Services International and United Launch Alliance Agree To Study Launching The LEO Express Cargo Canister on Atlas V Launch Vehicle

By SpaceRef Editor
September 25, 2007
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Combined system could be used to deliver cargo by 2010 to ISS and emerging entrepreneurial space complexes

Alexandria, VA, September 24, 2007 – Constellation Services International, Inc. (CSI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to pursue the potential of launching its LEO Express(TM) cargo canisters on Atlas V launch vehicles. Destinations could include the International Space Station (ISS) and other commercial orbital destinations.

The CSI LEO ExpressSM cargo service uses low-risk systems including the ISS-certified Progress “spacetug” along with a Progress-derived cargo Canister, each launched separately. In the first step, the CSI standardized canister would be launched by the flight-proven Atlas V launch vehicle that already meets NASA’s highest reliability standards. Next, the proven Progress spacecraft would leave ISS and act as a reusable tug to dock with the cargo canister and return it to ISS. This low-risk approach could be implemented as early as 2009, and would eliminate any potential gap in ISS cargo delivery after the Shuttle is retired.

“We are pleased to work with ULA and their family of proven American launch vehicles. High reliability is important to space station customers for certain high-value payloads, and using the Atlas V addresses this requirement,” said Charles Miller, CSI’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Miller added, “Our analysis proves that CSI and ULA together can also deliver a cost-effective service on a dollars per kilogram basis.”

ULA brings together the launch industry’s most experienced and successful Atlas and Delta teams, who have supported America’s presence in space for almost 50 years. Atlas V is presently used to launch government and commercial payloads to a wide range of orbits. Its reliability record is at the top of the space industry and has achieved a 100% demonstrated mission success record for all Atlas V flights.

The two companies have agreed to further evaluate the Atlas V’s ability to meet the technical requirements for the cargo launch services needed to transport CSI’s cargo canisters to space. CSI and ULA will conduct compatibility analysis of integrating the cargo canisters on an Atlas V launch vehicle, and investigate the mission profiles required to rendezvous with the Progress space tug. This analysis will include both a comprehensive technical feasibility review and programmatic review of the overall business case required to ensure success of the concept.

Constellation Services International, Inc. (CSI) is an entrepreneurial orbital spaceflight services company that is focused on commercial opportunities in Earth orbit. CSI has raised over two million dollars in private investment, and has received over three million dollars from three NASA contracts, to develop the patented LEO Express Space Cargo System. The LEO Express Space Cargo System completed a NASA system design review in July 2003. NASA’s Alternate Access to Station program concluded “CSI provided convincing evidence that both designs were feasible.”

For more information on CSI or CSI’s LEO ExpressSM Space Cargo Service, visit

“LEO Express” is a trademark and service mark of Constellation Services International, Inc.

SpaceRef staff editor.