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Sun, Aug 17, 2008

NASA To Take Corrective Action In Spacesuit Contract Protest

NASA has concluded that corrective action is appropriate in the Government Accountability Office bid protest of Exploration Systems & Technology, Inc.

NASA determined that a compliance issue requires the termination of the contract for the Constellation Space Suit System with Oceaneering International, Inc. of Houston for the convenience of the government.

NASA anticipates that corrective action will involve reconsideration of its procurement decision. The pending protest litigation is subject to a Government Accountability Office Protective Order.

NASA had awarded the contract on June 12. The spacesuit will protect astronauts during Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and, by 2020, the surface of the moon. The Constellation Space Suit System contract is for design, development, test, evaluation and production of equipment to support astronauts aboard the Orion crew exploration vehicle, the Altair lunar lander, and during human exploration of the surface of the moon.

Suits and support systems will be needed for as many as four astronauts on moon voyages and as many as six space station travelers. For short trips to the moon, the suit design will support a week's worth of moon walks.

The system also must be designed to support a significant number of moon walks during potential six-month lunar outpost expeditions.

In addition, the spacesuit and support systems will provide contingency spacewalk capability and protection against the launch and landing environment, such as spacecraft cabin leaks.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/constellation

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