NASA Awards $206M Contract for Next-Gen Space Program Support

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-31 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The contract will provide mission and flight crew logistics, training, and flight support for the International Space Station and subsequent space exploration activities after the space shuttle program is ended.

NASA on Oct. 31 awarded a $206.5 million contract to a longtime contractor, United Space Alliance, to provide services for the next generation of its space exploration program.

The contract will provide mission and flight crew logistics, training, and flight support for the International Space Station and subsequent space exploration activities after the space shuttle program is ended.

"This primary contract, which starts tomorrow [Nov. 1] and continues through the end of the fiscal year 2011, will be the primary one for planning, training and the flying of the new Constellation series of spacecrafts that will replace the space shuttles when they are retired from service in 2010," NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries told eWEEK.

The Constellation Aries I (crew transportation) and Aries V (cargo) space ships are being designed without wings-unlike the space shuttles-because they will be used for new missions to the moon and eventually to Mars, Humphries said.

United Space Alliance, based in Houston, has been NASA's primary provider of these services since the mid-'90s, Humphries said. Prior to that time, NASA granted individual contracts for the large set of services needed to get space vehicles into their missions.

NASA taps IBM iDataPlex for a new supercomputer. Read more here. 

The two-year, 11-month Integrated Mission Operations Contract covers ground-based human spaceflight operations capability development and execution, including support for mission planning and preparation, crew and flight controller training, and real-time mission execution.

The cost-plus-award-fee contract provides for an optional one-year extension, which would increase the total value of the contract to $371 million. The extension period, if exercised, would be from Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012.

United Space Alliance is a space-flight operations company that is a joint venture, owned equally by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It was established in August 1995 as a Limited Liability Company. The company employs about 10,000 people in Texas, Florida, Alabama and the Washington, D.C., area.

 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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