Michael Braukus/J.D. Harrington
July 12, 2005
NASA Awards Crew Exploration Vehicle Contracts
NASA today authorized two eight-month contracts, each worth approximately $28 million, one to Lockheed Martin Corp. and the other to the team of Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Boeing Co. to support a July 2006 review of the engineering systems for the agency's new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).
During this contract period, in addition to performing sustained engineering in support of the CEV review, the contractors will continue to develop designs for NASA's next-generation vehicle for human space flight and demonstrate ability to manage cost, schedule and risk.
Results of NASA's Exploration Systems Architectural Study, which defines parameters for the new vehicle to replace the Space Shuttle, will be incorporated into a "call for improvements" to be released later this year, inviting proposals from the selected contractors. These proposals will be evaluated for the final selection of a single CEV contractor.
Originally, the selection of a single industry team was planned for 2008, but to reduce or eliminate the time between the Shuttle's retirement in 2010 and the first CEV flight, the selection is planned for early 2006.
The CEV is expected to carry up to six astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit soon after the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010, and then on to the moon as early as 2015. The CEV is a key element of the nation's Vision for Space Exploration, which returns human explorers to the moon, Mars, and beyond.
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