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NASA Extends Ares I Development Contract

File image of Ares 1.
by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jan 09, 2007
NASA has authorized a contract action having a value of $48 million with ATK Launch Systems of Brigham City, Utah, to continue design and development of the first stage for the Ares I crew launch vehicle. Ares I will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle and its crew of up to six astronauts, or other small cargo payloads, to low-Earth orbit.

The first stage will consist of a single reusable solid rocket booster and motor 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 fuel distribution systems.

This Ares I first stage contract action will increase a first stage task under an existing shuttle contract by $48 million for a total work effort valued at $111 million. These activities are a preparatory effort leading up to the Ares I first stage prime contract, which will be awarded in the February 2007 timeframe.

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; maintains the necessary design and engineering analysis; and continues participation in pilot parachute development tests. The action also provides support for an initial test flight in the spring of 2009 known as Ares I-1 and provides support for Ares I-1 in preparation for Preliminary Design Review. The test flight will use a simulated fifth segment on the first stage and a simulated upper stage.

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SkyTerra Announces Closing Of Transaction With BCE
Reston VA (SPX) Jan 09, 2007
SkyTerra Communications has announced that it had completed its previously announced acquisition of BCE's stake in Mobile Satellite Ventures LP (MSV). In connection with the transaction, SkyTerra issued approximately 22.5 million shares of its non-voting common stock to BCE in exchange for approximately 8.0 million limited partnership interests in MSV and the corresponding shares in the corporate general partner, reflecting the same exchange ratio used in the recent transactions with MSV's other partners.

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