Teets brought back Thomas Young, a former head of the Martin Marietta Corporation to oversee the review. Young is to name a dozen members of the group, which will have access to all of the company's launch programs, management, and data to review everything from manufacturing to scheduling and procedures.
All of the company's launch vehicles will be included in the review, from the small Athena launcher to the Air Force Titan IVB. Both launchers failed last week, and the Titan has failed twice in a row since exploding in midair last August.
The review gets underway while the company's other remaining all-U.S. built satellite launcher, the Atlas, is being kept grounded pending a review of the latest Titan IV failure.
A Centaur upper stage malfunctioned hours after liftoff last Friday, marooning a Milstar communications satellite in the wrong orbit.
A similar rocket stage malfunctioned in Tuesday's Delta III failure, depositing a commercial satellite also in a wrong orbit for its mission.
Another Titan IVB was set for launch tomorrow from the military spaceport at Vandenberg Air Base in California while an Atlas III was set for launch May 15th from Cape Canaveral.
Both launches have been postponed.
Teets said the group will take as much time as needed and will report back to senior management on any recommendations for change within the company's space sector programs.
While the effects of the Titan and Delta failures were still being felt, payload and satellite customers were searching around for potential other solutions to the launch crisis should the U.S. fleet be grounded for any length of time.
Other solutions under review, sources said, were possible shifts to Sea Launch and Proton as possible replacements for Delta III customers.
But Hughes, Loral, Pratt and Whitney and Boeing were expected to move quickly to clear the upper stage engine for revalidation. The Delta III alone has 18 booked launches on its manifest, including a third launch for ICO in the fall.
Any extensive delay would be highly damaging to Boeing's attempt at growing its launch business, industry analysts and sources said Wednesday.
EELV Reports From Spacer.Com