When the K-1 aerospace vehicle finally takes flight, it will be running software from UGS, a leading provider of product lifecycle management software and services.
Final construction of the orbital launch vehicle is being built by a team of contractors headed by Rocketplane Kistler. The company will utilize UGS NX software, a digital product development solution, to design, build and test the K-1. UGS is based in Plano, Texas, and has some 46,000 customers worldwide.
David Cochran, K-1 Structures and Cargo Module Program manager for Rocketplane, said the vehicle, which measures about 22 feet in diameter, is larger than other cargo carriers that go up into space. The K-1 should be completed by 2008, he added.
"With the award of a NASA COTS [Commercial Orbital Transportation Services] program to Rocketplane Kistler, we need a solution that provides a strong, dynamic design foundation," said Joe Cuzzupoli, RPKs COTS program manager, in a statement. "NXs high-end design capability and strong presence in the Aerospace and Defense market combined with UGS broad PLM solution set made UGS the right choice."
The COTS program was developed by NASA to coordinate the commercial delivery of crew and cargo to the International Space Station, an orbital outpost that has been in space for several years. The K-1 is capable of delivering a variety of payloads to a wide range of altitudes and inclinations in Low Earth Orbit, Kistler officials said.
"Space transportation is an exciting new market, and we are thrilled that innovators like Rocketplane Kistler see the benefits that UGS PLM technology can provide," said Dave Shook, UGS senior vice president and managing director, Americas, in the same statement. "NX delivers a best-in-class solution in a commercial, off-the-shelf package which provides a strong foundation with the ability to support future growth."