Press Release

TRW Wins Contract to Study Spacecraft Designs for NASA’s Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2000
Filed under

TRW has been awarded a three-month study contract by NASA’s
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md., to determine how
best to accommodate the science payload for NASA’s Gamma Ray Large
Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission using a spacecraft from GSFC’s
Rapid II Catalog of spacecraft. GLAST is the follow-on mission to the
TRW-built Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) mission.

Scheduled for launch in 2005, GLAST will explore the most
energetic and violent events in the universe. Its 3,000-kilogram
science payload, which comprises the GLAST Large Area Telescope Flight
Investigation and the Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor, will study stellar
phenomena such as gamma ray bursts, neutron stars, supernova remnants
and distant galaxies fueled by super massive black holes at their
centers. GLAST’s primary instrument is expected to be about 30 times
more sensitive to gamma ray sources than the Energetic Gamma Ray
Experiment Telescope (EGRET) used aboard CGRO.

“This contract builds on the solid foundation of experience that
TRW acquired as the system prime contractor and spacecraft producer
for NASA’s highly successful Compton Gamma Ray Observatory mission,”
said Fred Ricker, vice president and general manager, TRW Space &
Laser Programs Division. “We’re looking forward to continuing the
strong partnership that enabled CGRO to be one of the most
scientifically productive missions of the 1990s.”

Under terms of the new contract, TRW will determine the most
cost-effective way to meet the GLAST mission requirements based on
TRW’s existing, qualified spacecraft products in NASA’s Rapid II
catalog. NASA’s Rapid II spacecraft catalog is a procurement practice
designed to enable rapid development and production of spacecraft
using standardized spacecraft products.

Following the initial GLAST study and some more detailed studies
in the near future, NASA will select a contractor to build the GLAST
spacecraft and integrate the payload with the spacecraft. NASA’s
current plan calls for the selection of a GLAST system prime
contractor in 2002.

TRW has been developing satellite systems for NASA’s most
challenging scientific, communications and environmental satellite
systems for NASA since 1958. In addition to its work on GLAST, the
company is currently producing two spacecraft for the GSFC-led Earth
Observing System, developing a design concept for the Next Generation
Space Telescope, and developing architectural concepts and technology
requirements for the space agency’s Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.
TRW is also the spacecraft industry partner on NASA’s Space
Interferometry Mission.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, TRW provides advanced technology
products and services for automotive, space and defense, and
information technology markets worldwide. TRW news releases are
available on the corporate Web site:

SpaceRef staff editor.