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Thu, Feb 16, 2012

NASA Seeks Space Launch System Advanced Booster Risk Reduction Solutions

Agency Will Spend $200 Million On Safety Measures

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, has issued a NASA Research Announcement for the Space Launch System (SLS) Advanced Booster risk-reduction effort. NASA is looking for an advanced booster concept with the goal of reducing risk in the areas of affordability, reliability and performance. Proposals will identify and mitigate liquid or solid booster technical risks and provide related hardware demonstrations, as well as identify high-risk areas associated with adaptation of advanced booster technology to SLS.

The 130-metric-ton evolved SLS vehicle will require a booster with a significant increase in thrust over existing U.S. liquid or solid boosters. This new heavy-lift launch vehicle will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.

"These risk-reduction efforts will set the course for the full-scale design and development of this new advanced booster," said Chris Crumbly, SLS Advanced Booster NRA evaluation team chair. "We're excited to see what innovative solutions industry will provide as we embark on this new capability -- enabling unprecedented missions beyond low-Earth orbit."

NASA anticipates making multiple awards in response to this solicitation, and anticipates $200 million total funding. Final awards will be made based on the strength of proposals and availability of funds. The deadline for submitting proposals is April 9. The anticipated period of performance for any contracts awarded as a result of this announcement is not expected to exceed 30 months and will have an effective date of Oct.1, 2012.

This announcement is the second part of a three-part plan that includes risk-reduction planning prior to design, development, testing and evaluation of the advanced boosters.

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