Press Release

NASA’s Marshall Center to Host Mentor-Protege Signing Agreement July 7 Between Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Avans Machine & Tool

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2010
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What: On July 7, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will host a Mentor-Protege signing agreement between a NASA prime contractor and an Alabama small business.

The three-year NASA agreement is between Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., and Avans Machine & Tool of Skyline, Ala. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is the prime contractor for NASA’s space shuttle main engines. Since 2007, the company also has been the prime contractor for the development and testing of the J-2X rocket engine, designed to power the upper stages of NASA’s next-generation launch vehicles.

Established in 1989, Avans Machine & Tool has provided precision machining and fabrication support to a number of Marshall Center large business prime contractors. The company manufactures hardware components and equipment for aerospace, defense, industrial and medical industry customers. Avans is a Historically Under-utilized Business (HUB) Zone-certified small business. The HUBZone Program was created by the federal government in 1997 to empower economically challenged communities by contracting with local small businesses and employing local residents.

The NASA Mentor-Protege Program, established in 2008 by NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs, pairs large companies with eligible small businesses and institutions to establish long-term relationships, enhance technical capabilities and enable them to successfully compete for larger, more complex prime contract and subcontract awards. For more information, visit:

Who: Participating in the signing event will be Robin Henderson, associate director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center; Paul Fowler, director of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne; and Jeffrey Avans, president of Avans Machine & Tool.

When: Wednesday, July 7, 2 p.m. CDT. (To ensure adequate security processing and badging time, members of the media are encouraged to arrive at Gate 9 at least 45 minutes prior to event start.)

Where: Marshall Space Flight Center, Building 4200, Room P110

To attend: News media interested in attending the event should contact Angela Storey in the Marshall Center’s Public & Employee Communications Office at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 6. Media must report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center at Gate 9, Interstate 565 interchange at Rideout Road/Research Park Boulevard. Vehicles are subject to a security search at the gate. News media will need two photo identifications and proof of car insurance. Visitor parking is available in front of Building 4200 on the southwest side.

SpaceRef staff editor.