Press Release

Northrop Grumman Awarded NASA Contract for Next Generation Launch Technology

By SpaceRef Editor
May 5, 2003
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Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded a contract from
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.,
to continue development of an engine that will increase
the safety, reliability and affordability of next-generation
reusable space launch and transportation vehicles.

The $21 million contract for the TR107, a one-million-pound
thrust class liquid oxygen/kerosene reusable engine that
operates on an oxidizer-rich staged combustion cycle, is
part of Next Generation Launch Technology under the Space
Launch Initiative (SLI). Under this 18-month contract, engine
components will be subjected to hot fire testing to demonstrate
technology developments.

“We are pleased to be part of NASA’s continued emphasis
on technology development to provide our nation with low-cost
access to space,” said Tom Romesser, Northrop Grumman Space
Technology, vice president, technology development. “The
award of this contract enables NASA to use our innovative
propulsion technologies to achieve its Next Generation Launch
Technology goals.”

The TR107 has been under development for two years under
an earlier phase of NASA’s SLI program. Northrop Grumman
conducted trade studies and developed baseline conceptual
designs. Northrop Grumman leads a team that includes Allison
Advanced Development Company, Indianapolis, Ind.; Concepts
NREC, White River Junction, Vt.; Barber Nichols, Inc., Arvada,
Colo.; Sierra Engineering, Carson City, Nev.; and several
independent experts.

These technologies include a duct-cooled main chamber, a
pre-burner pintle injector and materials that do not require
coatings for the oxidizer-rich environment. The TR107 provides
high performance with a simple robust design that minimizes
the parts count for greater reliability and operability
and also minimizes the power head operating pressures to
increase engine life.

Northrop Grumman Space Technology is a leading developer
of satellite systems for the military and civil space markets.

SpaceRef staff editor.