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Northrop Grumman Modular Space Vehicle Completes Preliminary Design Review
by Staff Writers
Redondo Beach, CA (SPX) Nov 15, 2011

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Northrop Grumman has completed on schedule the preliminary design review (PDR) for its modular space vehicle (MSV), allowing the program to proceed to its critical design review and closer to manufacturing.

Under MSV program milestones, a successful PDR is essential to fulfilling the NASA Ames contract, which, in turn, supports the Department of Defense (DoD) Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) office at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

"Successful completion of the PDR is a significant milestone validating our design and confirming the Northrop Grumman-led team's proven capabilities and commitment to delivering an innovative and affordable MSV, on schedule and on budget," said Steve Hixson, vice president, Advanced Concepts - Space and Directed Energy Systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

"We are proud of the team's progress since the program kick off last December and we are clearly focused on supporting the ORS program office vision to provide innovative operationally responsive space assets to support the Joint Force."

The MSV is being developed and manufactured as a rapid response space initiative for combatant commanders. It includes major teammates ATA and DesignNet Engineering.

"I am extremely pleased with the team's progress to date as we move towards the ORS vision of implementing a Modular Open Systems Approach," said Dr. Peter Wegner, director of the ORS office.

A PDR provides the process for the customer and Northrop Grumman to jointly evaluate the progress, technical adequacy and risks associated with the design approach to the spacecraft's requirements.

The review determines the system's compatibility with performance, technical requirements and system specifications.

"We were impressed with the final product put together by the Northrop Grumman team," said Chuck Finley, chief, Tier-2 Division, ORS Program Office.

"This mission means a lot and the depth of the work presented at the preliminary design review gives us a lot of confidence that its future is in the right hands."

Rick Hayner, Northrop Grumman's MSV program manager, noted that the MSV is a multimission spacecraft bus employing a modular approach using open network space plug-and-play avionics architecture technology, to allow for rapid manufacturing, integration and test.

"The approach and technology we're using provides a low cost reconfigurable spacecraft bus that supports the ORS vision of a multimission modular bus and opens new markets to additional customers," Hayner said.

"Based on the success of this PDR we are moving forward with detailed design and progressing toward a critical design review planned for the first quarter of 2012."

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