Michael Braukus/J.D. Harrington
June 13, 2005
NASA Selects Contractors for Crew Exploration Vehicle Work
NASA today announced the selection of Lockheed Martin Corp. and the team of Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Boeing Co. that will lead to an award to build the agency's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). The selection is part of NASA's plan to have two contractors compete in the design and production process for the Space Shuttle's replacement.
NASA's Vision for Space Exploration calls for the CEV 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 acquisition strategy is a multi-phased project. Phase 1 called for industry to mature their crewed vehicle designs and demonstrate their ability to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of human-rated spacecraft development.
Phase 2, covering final CEV design and production, was scheduled to start with a down-selection to a single industry team in 2008. To reduce or eliminate the gap between the Shuttle's retirement in 2010 and an operational CEV, the Phase 2 down-selection is planned for 2006.
Results of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's Exploration Systems Architectural Study will be incorporated into a Call For Improvements later this year to invite Phase 2 proposals from the Phase 1 contractors.
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