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Michael Mewhinney
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: (650) 604-3937/9000

June 5, 2006
NASA Ames Reveals Tasks for New Spaceship Development
NASA officials announced today that NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will support exploration in several key areas, including software, mission operations and thermal protection for the development of NASA’s new spaceship.

NASA Ames will be the lead for development of thermal protection systems and information technology for NASA’s exploration effort. This responsibility includes developing the heat shield and aeroshell for the new spaceship called the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). Responsibilities for information technology and computing include a focus on collaborative environments for exploration, as well as the development of cost-effective software that will play a role in operations for exploration.

"I am delighted that Ames is managing development of the CEV's heat shield and aeroshell for the new spacecraft and will lead the effort to develop the essential information technology for the exploration effort that will take us back to the moon,” said NASA Ames Director Simon "Pete" Worden. “Our history of innovation and our prime location in Silicon Valley will enhance our ability to deliver the cutting-edge technology NASA needs to implement the Vision for Space Exploration," Worden added.

In addition to its lead role in thermal protection systems and information technology, NASA Ames will support exploration and the Lunar Precursor and Robotic Program. NASA Ames will establish a new lunar projects office to develop small robotic spacecraft for exploration. The center also will continue to lead the development of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

During a NASA television broadcast from Washington today, NASA revealed the roles each of its centers across the nation will play during development of the CEV, and its supporting spacecraft and facilities for the Constellation Program, NASA’s effort to implement the nation’s Vision for Space Exploration to return humans to the moon and later travel to Mars.

Extending the human presence beyond low-Earth orbit is an exciting and challenging task, which requires a balanced workforce skill mix and productive NASA field centers, according to NASA officials. NASA is distributing work assignments to its centers to ensure that the agency can meet the challenges of exploration.

Additional computer-related work assigned to NASA Ames includes several components of the Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV), which will be used to launch the CEV into space. Included in the work is development of integrated systems health monitoring and analysis for the CLV; validation and verification of fault-detection software; and computational fluid dynamics analysis for risk assessment and abort scenarios.

In the mission operations area, NASA Ames will provide computer tools for flight controllers and develop new software applications for the Constellation training program. Ames will design, develop, test and evaluate multi-center command and control software systems. Ames also will develop collaborative environment software to support project planning, management and documentation systems.

Other work assigned to Ames includes development of problem reporting, corrective action and safety and mission assurance information systems for the program. Ames will provide program support in system engineering and integration of human factors and human rating systems; flight performance; thermal and environmental control and life support; command, control, communications and information; extravehicular activity (spacewalk) systems; and ground/mission operations systems integration groups.

For additional information about NASA's effort to develop a new spaceship please visit:

For more information about NASA Ames’ contributions to exploration, please visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, please visit:


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