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ROCKET SCIENCE
Lockheed Martin Selected USAF for Reusable Booster System Flight Demonstrator Program
by Staff Writers
Denver CO (SPX) Dec 08, 2011

Artistic rendition of the RBS Pathfinder, courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corp.

Lockheed Martin has been selected by the U.S. Air Force for a contract award to support the Reusable Booster System (RBS) Flight and Ground Experiments program. The value of the first task order is $2 million, with a contract ordering value of up to $250 million over the five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract period.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center are developing the RBS as the next generation launch vehicle that will significantly improve the affordability, operability, and responsiveness of future spacelift capabilities over current expendable launchers.

Initial RBS Flight and Ground Experiments task orders will provide for an RBS flight demonstration vehicle called RBS Pathfinder scheduled to launch in 2015.

The RBS Pathfinder is an innovative reusable, winged, rocket-powered flight test vehicle that will demonstrate the Reusable Booster Systems' "rocketback" maneuver capabilities and validate the system requirements that will drive refinements in the design of the operational RBS.

"We are very pleased to be selected by the Air Force to support them on the Reusable Booster System program," said John Karas, Lockheed Martin Space System's vice president and general manager of Human Space Flight.

"The innovative technologies and capabilities that RBS will provide are vital to meeting the needs of the Air Force and the nation for more affordable, responsive spacelift in the future."

The Lockheed Martin RBS team is led by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver, Colo., with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works operations in Palmdale, Calif., and Fort Worth, Texas.

The team also includes small business partners Science and Technology Applications, LLC of Moorpark, Calif., UP Aerospace of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and JFA Avionics Systems of Newbury Park, Calif.

For the RBS Pathfinder program, Lockheed Martin has also entered into an agreement with the New Mexico Spaceport Authority to conduct flight test operations from Spaceport America, the nation's first purpose-built commercial spaceport, located in southern New Mexico.

Related Links
US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
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