Press Release

Excalibur Almaz Incorporated partners with NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
October 27, 2011
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Excalibur Almaz Incorporated partners with NASA

HOUSTON, October 27, 2011 — Excalibur Almaz, Incorporated (EAI), an independently owned U.S. company based in Houston, and NASA have signed an unfunded Space Act Agreement (SAA) for the second development round of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The goal of CCDev2 is to accelerate the availability of U.S. commercial crew transportation capabilities and reduce the gap in American human spaceflight capability by advancing concepts and maturing the design and development of elements of the systems.

The SAA facilitates the interchange of technical information between the EAI team and the NASA Commercial Crew Program Office at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. EAI views this agreement as a very positive and important step toward successful completion of our commercial transportation system (CTS).

Major elements of the EAI CTS are based on equipment originally designed for human space applications. The most critical elements have already been flight proven. EAI has acquired and will update flight-proven legacy hardware – the Almaz Reusable Reentry Vehicle (RRV) pressure vessel, its Emergency Escape System (EES), retro rocket, attitude control subsystem and parachutes.

Astrium will provide flight proven propulsion subsystems and guidance, navigation and control components inclusive of the on board control computer. Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) will be from Paragon and NASA’s docking system will be used. Lockheed Martin will perform systems engineering and integration leveraging processes, tools and lessons learned from NASA’s Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) program. United Space Alliance, LLC will provide flight and ground operations support leveraging their unsurpassed record of human space operations on NASA programs.

“Our commercial transportation system is based on the use of a proven reusable re-entry vehicle pressure vessel that has the only existing flight proven emergency escape system, something not currently available from any of the other commercial space transportation system offerors,” said Buckner Hightower, EAI’s Chief Executive Officer.

RRV’s will support EAI’s ground test and flight operations plans and a full-scale high fidelity engineering mock-up exists for use in crew evaluations. The EAI team has successfully conducted numerous technical and program level design reviews focused on both the system and subsystem levels and continues to work towards a Critical Design Review for our upgraded elements. The SAA effort is planned to continue through May 2012. The EAI team will work with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Office in Florida with support from the Johnson Space Center in Texas. A total of five milestones are scheduled during the period of performance under the SAA.

For more information contact Mr. Michael Bowker, EAI Vice President of Business Development, at 281-330-2324 or

SpaceRef staff editor.