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August 18, 1998

Jennifer McCarter
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1639)

James Hartsfield
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: c98-1

Aerojet Gencorp Awarded Contract to Build Propulsion Stage For X-38

Aerojet GenCorp, Sacramento, CA, has been awarded a contract with a value of $16.4 million to provide a deorbit propulsion stage for a technology demonstrator vehicle that is currently undergoing flight tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA.

The vehicle, named X-38, is an innovative, prototype spacecraft that could lead to the design, development and construction of a planned emergency Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) for the International Space Station.

The fixed-price incentive contract is for the design, development, manufacture, test and delivery of a deorbit propulsion stage required for the first X-38 space flight test scheduled for late 2000 or early 2001. This test will involve an unpiloted space test vehicle now under construction at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, that will be released from a Space Shuttle and descend to a controlled landing. The vehicle's propulsion stage includes a rocket propulsion system that will be fired to begin the vehicle's descent from orbit and then will be jettisoned to burn up in the atmosphere.

The base contract, valued at $16.4 million, is for one propulsion stage for the X-38 space flight test with an option for a second unit. There is a second option in the contract for five operational flight units for the Crew Return Vehicle, if the program is approved and if the X-38 design is selected. If all options are exercised, the contract has a potential value of $71.9 million and will require the delivery of hardware through the year 2005. This contract will be managed and administered by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL.


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