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Andrews Space Awarded USAF Reusable Booster System Study Contract

by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX) Mar 08, 2011
Andrews Space (Andrews) has announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) to study higher risk aspects of the Air Force's proposed Reusable Booster System.

The USAF is studying Reusable Booster System (RBS) technologies and operations concepts to better define future risk reduction flight demonstration requirements. The RBS consists of a reusable first stage booster and an expendable upper-stage stack.

The RBS is expected to reduce launch costs by at least 50% at a nominal flight rate of eight per year.

Under the RBS contract Andrews will evaluate the optimal staging conditions and approach for flying the reusable first stage back to the launch site. In addition, Andrews will analyze and optimize the staging maneuver and identify options for safely recovering the payload in the event of an abort.

"We are honored that the USAF has selected Andrews for this important effort," said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Andrews Space. "Andrews is leveraging our previous work on the USAF Hybrid Launch Vehicle to refine the system design and operating approach."

"In addition, we are currently under contract to NASA to evaluate Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle architectures and propulsion technologies," continued Andrews. "We are looking at possible areas for propulsion or technology synergy between the NASA and USAF efforts."

The results of this study will help the Air Force refine its RBS architecture and define demonstration requirements for future RBS test vehicles.

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