NASA MARKS SPACE STATION MILESTONE
NASA passed a major milestone in the Space Station Program Tuesday when agency and contractor officials signed documents that mark the end of the Freedom Work Package contracts, thus concentrating responsibility for the design, development and integration of the program under a single prime contract with Boeing Defense and Space Group, Seattle.
"This event is just one indicator that work on the International Space Station is on track and moving ahead," said Randy Brinkley, Manager of the NASA Space Station Program Office, Houston. "A large group of people has been working very hard over the last several months to make the transition from the Freedom program to our current redesigned program. Because of their efforts, we are well on our way to having an
international laboratory in space."
One of the documents signed yesterday was a major modification to the Nov. 15, 1993, letter contract between NASA and Boeing. This modification changes Boeing's scope of work from a transitional contract to a hardware design and development contract. A final contract between NASA and Boeing will be definitized later this year.
Boeing was designated as the prime contractor in August 1993 following a recommendation by the Station Redesign Team to strengthen Space Station integration by realigning the separate hardware development contracts under a single prime
contractor. As the prime contractor, Boeing will be responsible for the design, development, physical and analytical integration, and test and delivery of the Space
Station vehicle. After contract realignment, Boeing will be responsible for the management of two major subcontracts with McDonnell Douglas and Rocketdyne.
"This contract is a major milestone for Boeing," said Larry Winslow, Boeing Vice President for the Space Station Program. "We are excited to lead the team to design, build and launch a superb orbiting laboratory."-2-
Four party agreements also were signed which will officially close off the three work package contracts with the Boeing Defense and Space Group (Work Package 1), McDonnell Douglas Corp. (Work Package 2) and the Rocketdyne Division of
Rockwell International (Work Package 4). The four-party agreements, known as novation, mark the end of the work package structure that existed under the Freedom program.
The work formerly performed by the three work package contractors will continue with McDonnell Douglas and Rocketdyne now being subcontractors to Boeing. McDonnell
Douglas and Rocketdyne will continue to be responsible for their specific hardware development efforts and for supporting Boeing in sustaining engineering activities.
Overall, the agreements signal the end of the transition from the Space Station Freedom program to the redesigned space station program.
The International Space Station will be a multi-functional orbiting laboratory used for scientific and technology research in the unique microgravity environment of space. The effort pulls together capabilities and resources from NASA; the European Space Agency; NASDA, the Japanese Space Agency; the Canadian Space Agency; and most recently, the Russian Space Agency.
On-orbit construction of the facility will begin in 1997 and will use the launch capabilities of both the United States and Russia. A U.S. Laboratory module will be operational after the fourth U.S. assembly flight. U.S. launches will continue to add Japanese and European laboratory modules, a Canadian-built robotic arm and a habitation module. Russia will fly a "space tug," a science module, a power platform and a number of research modules.- end -
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