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Fri, Oct 24, 2008

PlanetSpace Strengthens Bid For NASA ISS Commercial Resupply Services Contract

Adds Boeing To Lockheed Martin/ATK Team

PlanetSpace announced this week it has added Boeing's Space Exploration division to its existing teammates, Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin, on the proposed solution to NASA for the Commercial Resupply Services to the International Space Station.

PlanetSpace is the overall prime contractor for the ISS Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) bid, and manages the CRS contract. ATK provides the Athena III launch vehicle and ground processing. Lockheed Martin and Boeing will develop, produce and operate modular Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV) that serve as the cargo carriers to the International Space Station.

"We are thrilled to add Boeing to round out our extraordinary team," said Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, chairman of PlanetSpace. "This team brings together technical innovations leveraging more than 50 years of relevant experience using flight-qualified US-built Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motors, Athena launch vehicles, proven space vehicle technology and on-orbit operations."

Boeing's role on the team includes providing cargo carrier development, cargo integration services, and ISS integration and operations support.

"This CRS contract is an important part of ensuring the long-term viability and value of the ISS. Boeing is pleased to be a part of the PlanetSpace CRS team," said Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Space Exploration division. "The Boeing Company, as a partner in the design, development and integration of the ISS shares NASA's interest in ensuring this national resource and world-class laboratory is used to its full capability and potential."

ATK provides its Athena III launch vehicle for the PlanetSpace team. The first stage is a 2.5 segment derivative of the Space Shuttle's four-segment Solid Rocket Booster (SRB). The second stage is the ATK CASTOR 120, utilized on the Athena I, Athena II and Taurus I launch vehicles. That foundation is topped by an ATK CASTOR 30 third stage and an Orbit Adjust Module.

"By using existing hardware that is US-built and has demonstrated performance, we shorten the development timeline," said Kent Rominger, vice president of Advanced Programs, for ATK's Launch Systems Division. "The Athena III provides a cost-effective solution to meet NASA's cargo requirements."

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, using its vast interplanetary, autonomous spacecraft design, manufacturing, system integration, and mission operations experience is developing the Orbital Transfer Vehicles for PlanetSpace.

"We are very pleased to be on the PlanetSpace team and to bring our full range of expertise to assure reliable Space Station resupply services," said John Karas, vice president and general manager of Human Space Flight for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "The PlanetSpace team leverages the combined spacecraft, launch vehicle and human space flight systems that are the core competencies of our companies. We bring significant expertise in program management, autonomous spacecraft design, manufacturing, systems integration and mission operations for this vital mission to maximize the role of the space station.

The PlanetSpace consortium continues discussions with Space Florida on a nonexclusive basis for Space Launch Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral. Florida is a desired location as long as satisfactory financial incentives are agreed to. Space Florida drives aerospace economic development in the state and serves as a catalyst for space-related business development, education, spaceport operations, research and development, workforce development and financing.

"Space Florida has worked with PlanetSpace to facilitate their needs during the RFP proposal phase," stated Steve Kohler, President, Space Florida. "Through the Teaming Agreement we have established the parameters of support and development we can assist with for a planned future commercial launch site near Kennedy Space Center, if they win the bid."

FMI: www.planetspace.org, www.atk.com, www.lockheedmartin.com, www.boeing.com/

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