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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Timeline for Ares V/Altair contract awards

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Author Topic:   Timeline for Ares V/Altair contract awards
Mercury7
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posted 09-08-2008 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was curious if someone could point me to a time line document that says when contracts will be awarded to build Altair/Ares V hardware. Does this step require a green light from Congress first? I know everything is up in the air right now but it seems like they can't wait til Ares 1 is complete if they are serious about meeting the 2020 date.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-08-2008 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In March 2008, NASA awarded contracts for design studies for Altair:
NASA's Constellation Program has selected five space-related companies to receive contract awards for a 210-day study to independently evaluate NASA's in-house design concept for a lunar lander that will deliver four astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2020.

The awards total approximately $1.5 million, with a maximum individual award of $350,000. The study recommendations will be used to increase the technical maturity of the existing design in preparation for the development of vehicle requirements.

The selected companies are Andrews Space of Seattle, The Boeing Co. of Houston, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver, Northrop Grumman Corporation of El Segundo, Calif., and Odyssey Space Research of Houston.

On September 25, NASA will brief industry representatives, academics and reporters on the first phase conceptual designs for the Ares V heavy lift-launch vehicle, the Altair lunar lander and lunar exploration scenarios. Forum attendees will discuss the outcomes of a nine-month lunar transportation capabilities study and near-term business opportunities.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-07-2008 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA issued on Monday an RFI "to request information from the aerospace industry regarding potential implementation mechanisms for the multiple contractor procurement strategy" in regards to the design and production of the Altair vehicle.

According to the RFI, "NASA will be awarding multiple fixed price contracts in early CY 2009."

This interim developmental design effort is intended to continue industry involvement and build on the knowledge developed under the Altair study contracts by supplementing the NASA design team emphasizing the areas of human space flight production, manufacturing, and operability. Contracts are planned to run into the 2012/2013 timeframe in support of the Altair Systems Requirements Review (SRR) and Systems Design Review (SDR).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-16-2008 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Calls for Comment on Draft Altair Request for Proposals

NASA has released a draft request for proposals, or RFP, to seek industry support for the design of its Altair lunar lander vehicle, part of NASA's Constellation Program. Altair will deliver four astronauts to the moon's surface late in the next decade, fulfilling U.S. space exploration goals.

The Altair Conceptual Design Contract will define operational concepts, support requirements reviews, and refine design concepts for the Altair vehicle. This document is a draft of the final version of the RFP, expected in late January 2009. By responding to this draft RFP, potential offerors can provide input about possible requirements, small business goals and contract structure. The industry input received will be combined with NASA's expertise for potential inclusion in the final RFP.

A pre-solicitation conference is scheduled for Dec. 18 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The conference is designed for information sharing about the Altair conceptual design contract with potential offerors.

For a copy of the draft RFP and more information about the conference, visit this website.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-05-2009 11:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Seeks Concept Proposals for Ares V Heavy Lift Rocket

On Monday, Jan. 5, NASA issued a request for proposal for the Ares V rocket that will perform heavy lift and cargo functions as part of the next generation of spacecraft that will return humans to the moon. The request is for Phase I concept definition and requirements development for the Ares V rocket. Proposals are due to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., no later than 1 p.m. CDT on Feb. 9.

The request for proposal defines the procurement approach for Phase I of the Ares V acquisition. The contract work will include developing products to enable NASA to successfully complete the system requirements review and system definition review, critical milestones in the development of the rocket. Completion of the system definition review will verify the design concept and demonstrate mission objectives can be met.

The solicitation includes five separate work packages available for bid. Work packages one through four include the payload shroud that will protect the Altair lunar lander during launch, the Earth Departure Stage, the core stage, and avionics and software. The products for these work packages include assessing point of departure architecture, assessing risks and opportunities, trade studies and analysis, assessment of NASA requirements and a final report. The fifth work package includes a first stage concept for an upgraded solid rocket fueled booster.

Marshall will manage the contracts, which will be awarded through a full and open competition. The selections will be made in the spring of 2009. The period of performance for each contract is 18 months with two, one-year options.

For more information about the request for proposal, visit NASA's procurement website.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-28-2009 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Seeks Concept Proposals for Future Moon Lander

On Wednesday, NASA issued a request for proposals for concept definition and requirements analysis support for the Altair lunar lander. Proposals are due to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston by 2 p.m. CST on Feb. 27.

NASA's Constellation Program will use Altair to land four astronauts on the moon following launch aboard an Ares V rocket and rendezvous in low Earth orbit with the Orion crew vehicle. The lunar lander will provide the astronauts with life support and a base for weeklong initial surface exploration missions of the moon. Altair also will return the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will return them home to Earth.

This contract will provide resources to conduct NASA-directed engineering tasks in support of evaluating vehicle conceptual designs, maturing the vehicle design and reviewing the products for system requirements reviews and system definition reviews. It is anticipated that multiple awards will be made as a result of this solicitation.

Johnson will manage the contracts, which will be awarded through a full and open competition. The selections will be made in the spring of 2009.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-28-2009 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boeing release
Boeing Submits Proposal for Altair Lunar Lander Study Contract

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], through its Space Exploration division, submitted a proposal to NASA today for Altair lunar lander design support. NASA is expected to award multiple contracts this spring.

The lunar lander, part of NASA's Constellation program, will launch aboard the Ares V heavy-lift rocket and provide astronauts with life support and a base for exploration missions. Altair will also return the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will transport the astronauts back to Earth.

The Altair Conceptual Design Contract calls for NASA-directed engineering tasks to support evaluation of conceptual designs, maturation of the vehicle design, and preparation of products for system-requirements and system-definition reviews.

"Boeing is uniquely positioned to provide great design support now, as well as to support Altair development, test and evaluation when the time comes," said Keith Reiley, lunar lander project manager for Boeing. "Our ability to transition a skilled space shuttle work force ensures we can distribute the necessary expertise where it is needed as NASA transitions from the shuttle program to Constellation. We plan to support NASA with a local core team, enterprisewide specialty engineering experts, and a range of suppliers, including small and innovative high-tech companies."

The Altair lunar lander is envisioned with two stages: The descent stage will house the majority of the fuel, power supplies, and breathing oxygen for the crew. The ascent stage will house the astronauts, life-support equipment, and fuel for the ascent stage motor and steering rockets. The lander will carry a crew of four and be able to stay on the moon for up to six months. Altair will be capable of landing with 15 to 17 metric tons of dedicated cargo. The first crewed flight is scheduled for 2020.

NASA issued its request for proposal on Jan. 28 and will manage the Altair Conceptual Design Contract out of Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-17-2009 10:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lockheed Martin release
Lockheed Martin Establishes Altair Program Office in Texas

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced it has located its Altair program office in Houston, Texas, in its bid to provide support for the next-generation human lunar lander system for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The company submitted its proposal to NASA last month for the Altair Conceptual Design Contract and the agency is expected to award several contracts for the first phase of the program later this spring.

The Altair lunar lander is a key element of NASA's Constellation Program, which encompasses the spacecraft, launch vehicles, infrastructure and support systems that will be needed to return human explorers to the moon and establish a lunar outpost for much longer duration missions than ever achieved in previous decades under the Apollo program. The experience, capabilities and technologies developed and utilized for Altair missions also will enable human exploration to extend beyond the moon to other destinations in the solar system.

"We recognize that locating key expertise and program management support in Houston adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Constellation Program and Altair Project offices are located, allows us to provide responsive and comprehensive support to NASA on the Altair Conceptual Design Contract," said Brian Duffy, vice president and program manager of the Altair Lunar Lander program for Lockheed Martin. "Utilizing the existing facilities and our experienced human space flight team in the Houston area provides significant synergy that we are bringing to bear for NASA's next-generation lunar missions."

Duffy, a four-time Shuttle astronaut and commander of two of the missions, executed four rendezvous maneuvers with other spacecraft and docked with the International Space Station. He also participated in the development and testing of displays, flight crew procedures, and computer software to be used on Shuttle flights, all of which have given him unique and valuable expertise that will be useful in assisting NASA in designing the elements of a new generation of Altair lunar spacecraft and successful lunar missions in the future.

As currently envisioned, NASA's Altair, standing over two stories high, will be able to transport and house as many as four astronauts onto the lunar surface and is comprised of two primary elements. The descent stage will house the majority of the fuel, power supplies, and breathing oxygen for the crew. The ascent stage will house the astronauts, life-support equipment, and fuel for the ascent stage motor and steering rockets. Once on the surface, the crew will be able to stay on the moon for up to six months at a time, with the Orion crew exploration vehicle orbiting above and awaiting the crew's return for the trip back to Earth. The first crewed flight is scheduled for 2020.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor to NASA for the Orion crew exploration vehicle, which is scheduled to make its first crewed flight in 2015. The Orion spacecraft will be a complex, state-of-the-art spacecraft with the most capability, flexibility and adaptability of any previous space flight vehicle.

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