NASA sets shape of Crew Exploration Vehicle

WASHINGTON, 12 Jan. 2006. NASA's Constellation Program is making progress toward selecting a prime contractor to design, develop and build the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), America's first new human spacecraft in 30 years.

WASHINGTON, 12 Jan. 2006. NASA's Constellation Program is making progress toward selecting a prime contractor to design, develop and build the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), America's first new human spacecraft in 30 years.

The CEV is a key element of the Constellation Program, which will help NASA realize the Vision for Space Exploration. The CEV will transport up to six crew members to and from the International Space Station and up to four to and from the moon. It will also support future Mars missions.

NASA has now issued Phase II of a Request for Proposals. For the first time, this RFP specifies a configuration for the spacecraft: an improved, blunt-body crew capsule shape. Requirements are based on future exploration mission needs and the desire to fly the first CEV mission as close as possible to 2010, when the space shuttle will be retired.

The new RFP is a "Call for Improvements" that incorporates the results of additional analysis and study. Phase II adds detailed design, development and production requirements. Phase II proposals will be evaluated and used to select a single CEV contractor later this year.

Phase I resulted in contract awards in July 2005 for CEV systems requirements definition to teams led by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. Phase II proposals are due March 20, 2006.

For more information, see www.nasa.gov/home.

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