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Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington

RELEASE : J06-094
NASA Announces Contractor for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle
NASA Exploration Systems' managers will host a press conference at 3 p.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 31, to announce the prime contractor to design, develop, and build Orion, America's next human spacecraft.

The press conference will be in the NASA headquarters auditorium, 300 E Street S.W., Washington. It will air live on the Web and on NASA TV. Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations. Reporters should coordinate with local agency centers by 3 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 30 for access information.

Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Scott Horowitz, Exploration Deputy Associate Administrator Doug Cooke, Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley, and CEV Project Manager Caris A. (Skip) Hatfield will announce the selection and discuss the program.

Orion is the vehicle NASA is developing to carry a new generation of explorers back to the moon and later to Mars. Orion will succeed the space shuttle as NASA's primary vehicle for human space exploration. Orion's first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014 to the International Space Station. Its first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

For information about NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate visit:

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