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Michael Braukus/Beth Dickey
Headquarters, Washington

Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Oct. 4, 2006
Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle First Stage Contract Modification
NASA is extending a previous contract action with ATK Thiokol of Brigham City, Utah, to continue design and development of the first stage for the Ares I crew launch vehicle. The extension has a maximum value of $35 million.

Ares I is the crew launch vehicle that will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle, its crew or other small cargo payloads to low-Earth orbit. The first stage will consist of a single solid rocket booster similar to those used on the space shuttle, but with a fifth motor segment added. The upper stage will consist of a J-2X liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen engine and the associated propellant tanks and main propulsion system.

The contract action maintains the design, development, test and evaluation schedule; expedites the procurement of new nozzle metal hardware and production tooling for propellant casting and nozzle fabrication; and maintains the necessary design and engineering analysis leading to a Systems Requirements Review in December 2006.

The action also provides support for an initial test flight in the spring of 2009 known as Ares I-1. The test flight will use a simulated fifth segment on the first stage motor and a simulated upper stage.

The contract type is cost-plus-award-fee. This modification will increase the overall value of the existing $28 million contract action to a total of $63 million and provide support through Dec. 31, 2006

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