NASA awards Boeing $2.8 billion contract to develop Space Launch System core stage, avionicsNews
July 03, 2014
HUNTSVILLE, AL. Prime contractor Boeing has finalized a $2.8 billion contract with NASA to develop the core stage and avionics of the powerful rocket Space Launch System (SLS) intended to launch humans farther into space.
The agreement was made as the SLS completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) on the core stage, which is the last major review before full production begins on the SLS. The CDR began on June 2, where experts examined and confirmed more than 3,000 core stage artifacts and the design of the rocket’s cryogenic stages that will contain liquefied hydrogen and oxygen.
“Our teams have dedicated themselves to ensuring that the SLS – the largest ever – will be built safely, affordably, and on time,” commented Virginia Barnes, Boeing SLS VP and program manager. “We are passionate about NASA’s mission to explore deep space. It’s a very personal mission, as well as a national mandate.”
In addition to the core stage, Boeing has also been tasked to study the SLS Exploration Upper Stage, which will further expand mission range and payload capabilities.
The SLS’s initial test flight is scheduled for 2017, which will provide a 77-ton capacity, with the final two-stage configuration projected to provide a lift capability of more than 143 tons.