NASA announced the selection of United Launch Alliance to
participate in its new Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program
on Tuesday. NASA created the CCDev Program to develop system
concepts, key technologies, and capabilities that ultimately will
be used in commercial crew space transportation systems. ULA was
awarded $6.7 million to develop an Emergency Detection System
(EDS), which is a significant element necessary for a safe and
highly reliable human rated launch vehicle.
"ULA is pleased to participate with NASA on the CCDev Program,"
said Michael Gass, ULA President and Chief Executive Officer. "We
look forward to supporting NASA as they embark on a new initiative
that emphasizes commercial access to space. We are confident that
our flight-proven Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles can help
NASA achieve its goals."
The EDS monitors critical launch vehicle and spacecraft
systems and issues status, warning and abort commands to the crew
during their mission to low Earth orbit. ULA studies show that the
development of the EDS will help meet the requirements for human
rating the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles.
The CCDev Program will allow ULA to build upon its heritage
launch systems and its on-going company investments toward
commercial human space flight. ULA will work closely with NASA to
identify critical failure modes of the flight-proven Atlas V and
Delta IV launch vehicles. ULA will then develop the hardware
components and software processes that will detect these modes
allowing for rigorous and exhaustive testing on a prototype EDS
before an initial crewed flight.
ULA says its goal is to develop a system for NASA that builds
upon the proven reliability of both the Atlas V and Delta IV for
safe human space flight.