Feeds

Boeing and Northrop Grumman forge space alliance

Joint pitch for NASA Moon gig

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have inked a memorandum of agreement which will see the two aerospace giants join forces to compete for the contract to build NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) - part of the Agency's Constellation project to send robotic and human missions to the Moon and beyond.

Boeing impression of how the CEV launch vehicle might lookThe CEV - which is based on the tried-and-trusted Apollo command module concept - will be developed and deployed in stages, known as "spirals". Spiral 1 - for which Boeing and Northrop Grumman are to assemble a joint team - will test the CEV's capability as an Earth-orbit vehicle. Later spirals will extend the scope of the project to the Moon, and then possibly to Mars. The NASA blurb - which estimates first flight tests in 2008, further unmanned tests in 2011 leading to full operational commissioning in 2014 - states:

In the simplest terms, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is a vehicle to transport human crews beyond low-Earth orbit and back again. The CEV must be designed to serve multiple functions and operate in a variety of environments. For example, the CEV or versions of the CEV could operate for extended-duration in Earth orbit, in close proximity to or on the surface of the Moon and Mars.

In the Northrop Grumman press release, sector vice president for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems, Gary Ervin, says: "A Northrop Grumman - Boeing team will bring together two proven leaders in the development, production and successful deployment of reliable, advanced technology space systems. Northrop Grumman's systems integration skills, technology innovation and track-record of superior space systems performance, coupled with Boeing's extensive experience in human space flight offers NASA a team that can develop and deliver an innovative, highly affordable CEV to serve the nation's space exploration needs safely and reliably well into the future."

Northrop Grumman will take the helm during Spiral 1 as team leader and main contractor. For Spiral 2, Boeing will lead during development of "human lunar CEV transportation system elements". Boeing vice president Chuck Allen hailed the alliance as recognition that "the nation's Vision for Space Exploration and the CEV system development will require as much innovation in program and business management solutions as it requires in technology maturation and engineering." He added: "Collectively, Boeing and Northrop Grumman would offer NASA more than 90 years of combined experience in development and operation of complex, integrated manned and unmanned aeronautic and space flight systems and platforms, including in every major US human space flight program ranging since inception through ISS."

The competition to win the CEV development contract kicks off in 2005. ®

Related stories

NASA pumps $400m into nuclear space probe
US deploys F/A-22 Raptor
Boeing and IBM team up for defence
US throws $1bn at unmanned attack aircraft

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.