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For release: 03/11/04
Release #: 04-035  

Four companies receive Contractor Excellence Awards from NASA's Marshall Center

Four companies have been selected to receive the Marshall Center's 2003 Contractor Excellence Award. Selections were based on judging and scores in seven key areas. The recipients are ATK Thiokol Propulsion of Salt Lake City, Utah; Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems, Inc. of Windsor Locks, Conn.; plus Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. and ERC, Inc., both of Huntsville, Ala.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has selected four companies to receive the Center's Contractor Excellence Awards for 2003.

ATK Thiokol Propulsion of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems, Inc. of Windsor Locks, Conn., will share the award in the large business product category. Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. of Huntsville takes the award for the large business- service category; and ERC, Inc. of Huntsville will receive the small business service category award.

The Marshall Center will publicly recognize each of the companies in ceremonies during the coming weeks.

Selections were made based on judging and scores in seven basic areas, including customer satisfaction; contract technical performance; schedule performance; cost performance; management initiatives responsive to NASA's strategic goals; leadership and continuous improvement; and innovative technology breakthroughs.

ATK Thiokol supplies the massive, reusable solid rocket motors that are part of the solid rocket booster assemblies, the two pencil-shaped rockets on each side of the Space Shuttle on every Shuttle flight. The company is recognized for reducing the cycling time — the period it takes to prepare the rocket motors for re-use — by 25 percent over the past four years and for implementing cost savings of approximately $13.5 million under its current contract.

Hamilton Sundstrand is recognized for saving $1.05 million by reducing and avoiding costs on two life support systems for the International Space Station. The water processor assembly and oxygen generation assembly are inside Node 3 — a pressurized module that will provide docking ports, living areas and other systems when added to the Space Station. The firm is also cited for its long-term strategic plan in safety, technology, quality and leadership development areas.

Teledyne Brown Engineering performs payload integration — scheduling payloads or cargo — for the Space Station, provides service and support for the operation and maintenance of propellants, pressurants and calibration services, as well as engineering, analytical and integration support to Marshall. Its award credits the company for saving $10 million over the past three years, through controlling overall costs, and for its continuing commitment to safety and quality assurance.

ERC, Inc. is recognized for its sustained, outstanding performance in its work on four contracts. By reducing or avoiding costs for engineering design, analysis and evaluation, the company cut 27 percent of its projected spending on the reusable solid rocket motor performance contract. Also, during installation of calibration laboratory software, the company avoided 60 percent of its contract's estimated costs in the operation and maintenance of propellants, pressurants and calibration facilities.

The honored companies also will be the Marshall Center 's 2004 nominees for the George M. Low Award, NASA's most prestigious award for quality and performance in the aerospace industry. The winner of that honor will be announced in the spring of 2005.

For more information:
News release

Jerry Berg
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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