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NASA Issues Proposal Request For Ares I Avionics Unit

Raytheon Already Has Hat In The Ring

NASA has issued a request for proposal Wednesday for key guidance, navigation and control hardware for the new Ares I crew launch vehicle. The upper stage instrument unit avionics is to be used during the Ares I ascent.

Proposals are due by July 30 and a selection expected in November. The contract will be awarded through a full and open competition, according NASA.

The avionics unit will provide guidance, navigation and control for the entire launch vehicle as it transports the Orion crew exploration vehicle to low Earth orbit.

The request for proposal calls for the winning contractor to work closely with the NASA design team to provide engineering support during the design phase. It also specifies that the contractor will produce avionics for the development and flight program and will provide sustained engineering support for the upper stage avionics system through 2016.

As they say, the early bird gets the worm. Raytheon Company told ANN last month the company planned to submit a proposal as the prime contractor to partner with NASA on the development and manufacture of the avionics unit for the Crew Launch Vehicle that will carry astronauts into orbit when the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010.

"Raytheon is uniquely positioned to support the NASA design team at Marshall Space Flight Center on a program that is as bold and innovative as the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle," said Louise Francesconi, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "Our technical expertise, innovative solutions, mature manufacturing processes and more than 40 years of space experience make us the right partner for NASA."

FMI: www.exploration.nasa.gov

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