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NASA Selects Contractors For Exploration Studies

Illustration of a crew exploration vehicle orbiting Mars (Artwork Credit: NASA)
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 1, 2004
NASA today awarded the first contracts to conduct preliminary concept studies for human lunar exploration and the development of the crew exploration vehicle. Eleven companies were selected.

NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Associate Administrator retired Navy Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle, said, "These study contracts reflect NASA's new commitment to find the best outside expertise that will work in partnerships to benefit the nation's goals for space exploration. "We are developing a sustained and affordable human and robotic program that will explore the solar system and beyond. We will accomplish this using the same ingenuity, commitment and unwavering determination that forged the success of the Apollo program."

The contracts, which total approximately $27 million, with a possible option worth an additional $27 million, are a result of the Concept Exploration and Refinement Broad Agency Announcement issued in May 2004.

The contracts will be awarded initiating a six-month base period, with a six-month option that may be exercised at the government's discretion. Options may be exercised based on several factors, including the quality of performance during the base period, fiscal constraints and overall support to the Vision for Space Exploration. "The Vision for Space Exploration gives NASA a new focus for a sustained and affordable human and robotic space exploration program to explore the solar system and beyond.

The contracts are in two categories or concept areas. The first area is preliminary concepts for human lunar exploration. The selected companies for "concept 1" and the value of their contracts are:

  • Raytheon, Tucson, Ariz. -- Base: $994,157; Option: $998,529

  • SAIC, Houston -- Base: $996,616; Option: $998,539

  • SpaceHAB Corp., Webster, Texas -- Base: $995,603; Option: $998,907

The second category consists of preliminary concepts for the crew exploration vehicle and human lunar exploration. The selected companies for "concept 2" and the value of their contracts are:

  • Andrews Space Inc., Seattle -- Base: $2,999,988; Option: $2,999,941

  • Draper Labs, Cambridge, Mass. -- Base: $2,988,083; Option: $2,945,357

  • Lockheed Martin Corp., Denver -- Base: $2,999,742; Option: $2,999,920

  • Northrop Grumman Corp., El Segundo, Calif. -- Base: $2,958,753; Option: $2,999,473

  • Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Va. -- Base: $2,998,952; Option: $2,994,259

  • Schafer, Chelmsford, Mass. -- Base: $2,999,179; Option: $2,997,804

  • The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, Calif. -- Base: $2,998,203; Option: $2,998,346

  • t-Space, Menlo Park, Calif. -- Base: $2,999,732; Option: $2,939,357

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