NASA Chooses Proposals from Four Companies for SLS Advanced Booster Awards

NASA Chooses Proposals from Four Companies for SLS Advanced Booster Awards

NASA announced today the selection of six proposals from four companies for advanced booster concepts for the Space Launch System (SLS).  The agency plans to invest as much as $200 million in the six proposals.

The six proposals chosen for contract negotiations are:

  • Northrop Grumman
    • Subscale Composite Tank Set
  • Aerojet
    • Full-Scale Combustion Stability Demonstration
  • Dynetics
    • F-1 Engine Risk Reduction Task
    • Main Propulsion System Risk Reduction Task
    • Structures Risk Reduction Task
  • ATK
    • Integrated Booster Static Test

NASA is building the Space Launch System (SLS) to enable human exploration of space beyond low Earth orbit as directed by Congress in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.  The first test flight of a 70-metric-ton version of the SLS is scheduled for 2017.  By law, the SLS must be capable of launching 130 metric tons eventually. 

President Obama has set a goal of sending astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and to the vicinity of Mars in the 2030s.  The President’s policy does not include landing astronauts on Mars at that time, which would require development of landing and surface habitation systems that are unlikely to be affordable anytime soon.   He said in April 2010 that he expects people to land on Mars in his lifetime, but was not more specific.

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