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NASA Awards Contracts For Alternative Access To Space

By | August 30, 2000

      NASA has awarded four small businesses 90-day contracts totaling $902,000 to develop concepts and requirements to provide access to the International Space Station on emerging launch systems.

      These contracts may uncover a potential back-up capability, augmenting the station’s primary resupply vehicles–the Space Shuttle, Russian Progress, European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle and the Japanese H2 Transfer vehicles.

      Under the terms of the contracts, the companies would have to be capable of launching within a week if necessary and could enhance the space station’s operational flexibility if primary delivery methods were unavailable.

      “We chose these four out of the 17 entered because they presented the best recognition of what the requirements were; the best plan on how they are going to go about achieving these requirements; and they offered the best study methodology to get to the answers of what does NASA need to be doing in order to enable this launch service,” Dan Dumbacher, manager of the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program Office, told SPACE BUSINESS NEWS.

      Kistler Aerospace, who has already been working on its K1 resupply vehicle for two years, landed the largest contract amount. “Winning this contract was the logical next step for our business and NASA is more open to working with emerging companies now,” said Debra Facktor Lepore, Director of marketing for Kistler.

      NASA’s Small Business Contracts

      • Andrews Space and Technology, El Segundo, Calif. $195,000
      • Microcosm Inc., El Segundo, Calif. $198,000
      • HMX Ltd., Reno Nev. $245,000
      • Kistler Aerospace Corp., Kirkland, Wash. $264,000

      Source: NASA

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