Press Release

Small Companies to Study Potential Use of Emerging Launch Systems for Alternative Access to Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
August 24, 2000
Filed under

Kirsten Williams

Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/358-0243)

Dave Drachlis

Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

(Phone: 256/544-0034)

RELEASE: C00-g

NASA has awarded four small businesses 90-day contracts
totaling $902,000 to develop concepts and requirements to provide
access to the International Space Station on emerging launch
systems.

These studies could uncover a potential backup capability,
augmenting the station’s primary resupply vehicles – the U.S.
Space Shuttle, Russian Progress, European Space Agency Automated
Transfer Vehicle and the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicles.

“Alternate access to Space Station is a potential market
opportunity for emerging or established U.S. launch companies,”
said Dan Dumbacher, manager of the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch
Vehicle Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center,
Huntsville, AL. “These companies will develop concepts for
alternate access to the Space Station, determine what a launch
service needs to do to meet the requirements, and offer
suggestions on specific development risk-reduction activities,
such as technology development or business planning, that we need
to perform.”

Companies selected are:

*Andrews Space and Technology of El Segundo, CA, $195,000

*Microcosm, Inc. of El Segundo, CA, $198,000

*HMX Ltd. of Reno, NV, $245,000

*Kistler Aerospace Corp. of Kirkland, WA, $264,000

The contingency resupply service under study would seek to be
capable of launching within a week if necessary and could enhance
the Space Station’s operational flexibility if primary delivery
methods were unavailable. Established launch services companies
are studying the same idea under existing contracts managed by
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL.

“This potential alternate means of transportation could help
us meet our commitments to the Station,” Dumbacher said.

The study contracts, set aside for small business, are
managed by Marshall under the Alternate Access Project of the
Space Launch Initiative. Marshall is NASA’s lead center for space
transportation systems development.

– end –

SpaceRef staff editor.