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SpaceDev, SpaceHab And Constellation Services Sign NASA Space Act Agreements

SpaceDev's Dream Chaser Space Plane aproaching the ISS.
by Staff Writers
Poway CA (SPX) Jun 19, 2007
SpaceDev has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to facilitate its development of reliable, safe and affordable transportation of passengers and cargo to and from Earth orbit. Under the Agreement, NASA will provide information about the agency's projected commercial demand for crew and cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as technical support regarding commercial vehicle requirements for rendezvous and docking with the ISS. NASA will also provide inputs to the development program through regularly scheduled technical exchange.

"We appreciate the leadership and foresight of Michael Griffin, Scott Horowitz, Alan Lindenmoyer and the entire NASA COTS office in their commitment to us and the emerging space industry," said Mark Sirangelo, SpaceDev's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"This Agreement will allow us to work closely with NASA to share data, concepts and updates on our program's progress. Having a continuous interchange with NASA will help accelerate our ability to make strides to meet our country and industry's near and long term needs for space transport. We are committed to the use of the NASA Langley derived HL-20 as the foundation of our space transport program."

This Agreement builds on SpaceDev's continuing and developing relationship with NASA as a result of the COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) proposal effort, where SpaceDev was one of three finalists in the competition. The SpaceDev vehicle has on-board propulsion utilizing SpaceDev's patented hybrid solid rocket motor technology.

earlier related report
NASA Signs Commercial Space Transportation Agreements Houston TX (SPX) Jun 19 - Through three new Space Act agreements, NASA is expanding cooperation with companies interested in commercializing access to space. The companies are developing capabilities to transport goods and people to low Earth orbit.

NASA signed nonreimbursable Space Act agreements, which do not provide any government funding to the companies, with SpaceDev of Poway, Calif., SPACEHAB of Houston, and Constellation Services International (CSI) of Laguna Woods, Calif. The pacts establish milestones and objective criteria by which the companies can gauge their progress in developing orbital cargo transportation capabilities.

Under the agreements, NASA will share information that will help the companies understand projected requirements for International Space Station crew and cargo transportation launch vehicles, as well as spacecraft and NASA human rating criteria.

SpaceDev, SPACEHAB and CSI will work to develop and demonstrate the vehicles, systems and operations needed to transport cargo to and from a low Earth orbit destination. SpaceDev also will include crew transport in its development program. NASA will acknowledge the companies' milestone accomplishments.

"This is a significant development," said Scott Horowitz, NASA associate administrator for Exploration Systems. "First there were two, and now there are a total of five private companies cooperating with NASA by dedicating entirely private funding to help establish a robust commercial space transportation industry."

"We're pleased to welcome these entrepreneurs to the growing list of companies willing to invest their own resources as NASA encourages development of a whole new sector of the commercial space industry," said Alan Lindenmoyer, manager of the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The program's overarching goals are to stimulate commercial enterprises in space, facilitate U.S. private industry development of reliable, cost-effective access to low Earth orbit and create a market environment in which commercial space transportation services are available to government and private customers. By stimulating the growth of commercial space enterprise, NASA plans to free itself to focus on long-range exploration to the moon and Mars.

Last year, NASA signed funded agreements with Space Exploration Technologies of El Segundo, Calif., and Rocketplane Kistler of Oklahoma City under the program's competition for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services demonstrations. In January 2007, NASA signed unfunded agreements with Transformational Space Corp. (t/Space) of Reston, Va., and PlanetSpace, Inc., of Chicago, which are similar to the three signed today.

After industry has demonstrated safe and reliable capabilities, NASA plans to enter the next phase of the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program and may purchase transportation services from commercial providers to supply the International Space Station.

earlier related report
NASA Signs Agreement with CSI
Laguna Woods, CA, June 18, 2007 Constellation Services International, Inc. (CSI) today announced that NASA has signed a Space Act agreement with CSI to facilitate the development of CSI's low-risk LEO Express space cargo system. Under the agreement, NASA will provide information about the agency's projected demand for cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as requirements regarding rendezvous and docking with the ISS.

"We are pleased to sign this agreement with NASA as part of our commitment to opening the space frontier to private citizens," said Charles Miller, CSI's Chief Executive Officer. "CSI is moving forward with our plans to provide orbital services to commercial customers and this Space Act Agreement allows us to work with NASA on various challenges."

CSI has invested over six years and several million dollars in private investment developing a commercial space station cargo service that uses 100% proven off-the-shelf technology. CSI also won two NASA Alternate Access to Station program contracts, in 2002 and 2003, totaling $3.1 million.

CSI's patented LEO Express space cargo system completed a NASA system design review in July 2003.

The LEO Express system can use over a dozen existing launch vehicles, plus most of the new launch vehicles being developed by private industry. The CSI system can even deliver space station cargo on very small and cheap launchers like the SpaceX Falcon 1 or AirLaunch QuickReach.

"Studies validate that CSI could deliver cargo to a space station in as short as 19 months, and possibly even quicker" stated Tom Moser, CSI's Vice President for Government Programs and former NASA space station program manager.

Moser continued "The LEO Express system uses U.S. launch vehicles that already meet NASA's most stringent 95% reliability standards, which is critical if you are delivering high value cargo. We allow launch vehicles to deliver 30- 100% more cargo per flight compared to current direct ascent approaches."

CSI was founded in 1998 as a commercial space services company. CSI's LEO Express system uses an orbital space tug, and is modeled after Earth-based intermodal cargo systems that use standardized containers. CSI has offices in Laguna Woods, CA, and Alexandria, VA. For more information on CSI, visit

"LEO Express" is a trademark and service mark of Constellation Services International, Inc.

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Success At Woomera As Scramjet Clips Mach 10
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Jun 18, 2007
Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has today launched one of the world's fastest air-breathing engine experiments, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Mr Peter Lindsay announced. The scramjet engine experiment reached speeds of up to Mach 10, approximately 11,000 km per hour, or ten times the speed of sound. Scramjets are air-breathing supersonic combustion ramjet engines that could make it possible for a two hour flight from Sydney to London.

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