by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 24, 2012
NASA has selected 26 proposals from academia and industry for advanced development activities for the nation's next heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). Proposals selected under this NASA Research Announcement (NRA) seek innovative and affordable solutions to evolve the launch vehicle from its initial configuration to its full lift capacity capable of sending humans farther into deep space than ever before.
NASA sought proposals in a variety of areas, including concept development, trades and analyses, propulsion, structures, materials, manufacturing, avionics and software.
"Engaging with academia and industry gives us the opportunity to take advantage of the ingenuity and expertise beyond NASA," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It will help us optimize affordability while integrating mature technical upgrades into future vehicles."
NASA is partnering with the U.S. Air Force on this research announcement in support of common national rocket propulsion goals.
Individual awards will vary with a total government investment of as much as $48 million. Initial fiscal year 2012 awards are worth as much as $8 million for industry and $2.5 million for academia. The selections will be made in advance of negotiations for potential awards. Awards depend on successful negotiation and stability of appropriated funds.
The proposals from academia selected for contract and grant negotiations are:
Industry proposals selected for contract negotiations are:
Designed to be flexible for launching payloads and spacecraft, including NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle that will take humans beyond low Earth orbit, SLS will enable the agency to achieve its deep space exploration goals.
"While we are moving out on the initial 70-metric-ton configuration of the vehicle, we will continue to examine concepts, designs and options that will advance the rocket to a 130-metric-ton vehicle, which is essential for deep space exploration," said Todd May, SLS program manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "Competitive opportunities like this research announcement ensure we deliver a safe, affordable, sustainable launch system."
The proposal selections are the first step in the NRA procurement process. The period of performance for these awards will be one year with as many as two one-year options. The second step, formal contract awards, will follow further negotiations between NASA and selected organizations.
All proposals will be valid for 12 months to allow for a later award if the opportunity becomes available, unless the offeror withdraws the proposal prior to award. Successful offerors to this NRA will not be guaranteed an award for any future advanced development acquisition.
The first flight test of NASA's SLS, which will feature a configuration for a 77 ton (70-metric-ton) lift capacity, is scheduled for 2017 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Space Launch System at NASA
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Space formula of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Sep 18, 2012
155 years ago, on September 17, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, was born in the Russian province. One of his famous sayings goes: "Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever". Long before the beginning of the space era this Great Russian scientist derived a formula for space rockets' overcoming the earth's gravity. ... read more
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