Press Release

NASA Marshall Center selects companies to help identify new pace transportation technologies

By SpaceRef Editor
May 25, 2000
Filed under

Contact: Dave Drachlis
Media Relations Department
(256) 544-0034
dave.drachlis@msfc.nasa.gov


RELEASE: 00-168


NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has
selected nine companies to help define how NASA can get into
space more safely and for less money than we can today using
the Space Shuttle.


The companies will share in a $15 million NASA Research
Announcement effort titled the “Second Generation Reusable
Launch Vehicle (RLV) Risk Reduction Definition Program.”


This research — a first step in defining detailed requirements
and identifying and implementing improvements in vehicle
safety — will be used to support a second-generation Reusable
Launch Vehicle (RLV) competition in 2005. The Space Shuttle
is a first-generation vehicle.


“The companies selected will provide the next step in the work
required to increase safety by a factor of 100 while decreasing
cost by a factor of 10,” said Dan Dumbacher, manager of the
Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program Office.


“We’re early in the program, and we look forward to further
industry involvement to accelerate the effort in fiscal 2001.”


Companies chosen to participate in this effort are Orbital
Sciences Corporation, Dulles, Va.; The Boeing Company, Seal
Beach, Calif.; Andrews Space & Technology, El Segundo,
Calif.; Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Denver,
Colo.; The Boeing Company’s Rocketdyne Propulsion and
Power, Canoga Park, Calif.; Pratt & Whitney, West Palm
Beach, Fla.; Futron Corporation, Bethesda, Md.; Kelly Space &
Technology, San Bernardino, Calif.; and Space Access,
Palmdale, Calif.


This effort will further systems requirements definition work
necessary for the Second Generation RLV program, leading to
initiating the business and technical risk-reduction activities in
fiscal 2001.


These companies will be able to take advantage of work
already under way on X-33, X-34 and X-37 experimental
technology demonstration vehicles. The study will not only
explore possible Earth-to-orbit launch vehicles, but also
in-space orbit transfer vehicles, ground and flight operations
and the technology and organization required to support both.


NASA anticipates awarding more contracts this year in various
technical areas, resulting from the NASA Research
Announcement.


Making access to space less expensive and safer is part of
NASA’s Space Launch Initiative, designed to increase
commercial development and civil exploration of space. The
Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Risk Reduction
Definition Program, part of the Space Launch Initiative, is a
result of NASA’s industry-led Space Transportation
Architecture Studies in 1998 and 1999, and NASA’s integrated
Space Transportation Plan developed in the fall of 1999.


The Marshall Center is NASA’s Lead Center for Space
Transportation Systems Development.

SpaceRef staff editor.