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By | August 13, 2007

      NASA Issues Request-For-Proposals For Ares I Launcher Work

      NASA issued a request for proposals for construction of the mobile launcher for Ares I, the rocket that will lift to orbit the next-generation U.S. spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle.

      The space agency last year chose Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] to build Orion.

      Proposals are due to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida Sept. 6.

      The request for proposals states the procurement approach for obtaining the mobile launcher system.

      That mobile launcher will be used as a platform to assemble, test and service Ares I in existing facilities, transport the rocket to the pad, and support launches.

      NASA explained that the winning contractor will supply all labor, materials and equipment to build the mobile launcher structure and its associated facility systems. Those systems include utilities, fire safety, communications, lighting, elevators and life support. The request for proposal includes an option for an additional Ares I mobile launcher.

      The contract to build the Ares I mobile launcher will be awarded through a full and open competition managed by KSC. Selection is expected in February.

      NASA Issues RFI For Commercial Logistics Space Service

      NASA issued a request for information for safe, cost effective, and reliable commercial logistics services for transporting cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and other payload launch services.

      Sponsored by the NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate, this request seeks input from companies working to provide commercial transportation services to space.

      This information will be used to help structure future commercial launch services contracts as well as the second phase of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services initiative to acquire commercial cargo services to the station after the space shuttle’s retirement in 2010.

      From then until the first Orion-Ares next-generation U.S. spacecraft fly in 2015, NASA for five years will lack the most basic ability to transport its astronauts or cargo even to low Earth orbit.

      Responders are asked to provide information and feedback, including:

      A description of the service provider’s current and planned capability

      Existing NASA policies on certification and oversight of launch vehicles

      Any improvements NASA can make in commercial transportation services contract structures that would provide incentives

      Recommendations on commercial contract terms and conditions.

      Comments should be sent to Celeste Dalton at by Sept. 7. To view the RFI, visit:

      Northrop Gives Lockheed $23 Million For B-2 Bomber SatCom Upgrade

      Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] received a $23 million contract from Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC] to upgrade satellite communication systems of the Air Force B-2 bomber, Lockheed announced.

      Lockheed will replace B-2 flight management computers with a new subsystem.

      “The enhanced performance of our product will enable the B-2 aircraft to send and receive information at a much faster pace,” said Dan Rice, director of products at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego.

      The subsystem combines legacy B-2 avionics functions with additional processing capabilities to support the B-2 Extremely High Frequency (EHF) satcom system.

      EHF SATCOM provides the aircrew with a beyond-line-of-sight, assured-connectivity capability that ensures the B-2 is compatible with current and future EHF communication satellite architectures.

      This SATCOM upgrade program also will allow the B-2 to connect easily to the Department of Defense Global Information Grid (GIG), a worldwide network of information systems, processes and personnel involved in collecting, storing, managing and disseminating information on demand to warfighters, policy makers and military support personnel.

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