Tuesday, January 09, 2007

NASA Extends Ares I Development Contract

Michael Braukus/Beth DickeyHeadquarters, Washington
Kim NewtonMarshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.256-544-0034
Jan. 5, 2007
CONTRACT RELEASE: C07-002NASA Extends Ares I Development Contract

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - NASA has authorized a contract action having avalue of $48 million with ATK Thiokol of Brigham City, Utah, tocontinue design and development of the first stage for the Ares Icrew launch vehicle.Ares I will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle and its crewof up to six astronauts, or other small cargo payloads, to low-Earthorbit. The first stage will consist of a single reusable solid rocketbooster and motor similar to those used on the space shuttle, butwith a fifth motor segment added. The upper stage will consist of a J-2X liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen engine and the associatedpropellant tanks and fuel distribution systems.This Ares I first stage contract action will increase a first stagetask under an existing shuttle contract by $48 million for a totalwork effort valued at $111 million. These activities are apreparatory effort leading up to the Ares I first stage primecontract, which will be awarded in the February 2007 timeframe.The contract action maintains the design, development, test andevaluation schedule; expedites the procurement of new nozzle metalhardware and production tooling for propellant casting and nozzlefabrication; maintains the necessary design and engineering analysis;and continues participation in pilot parachute development tests. Theaction also provides support for an initial test flight in the springof 2009 known as Ares I-1 and provides support for Ares I-1 inpreparation for Preliminary Design Review. The test flight will use asimulated fifth segment on the first stage and a simulated upperstage.For more information about NASA's Constellation Program, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/constellation

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