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Thu, May 24, 2007

Airborne Systems 'Chutes Selected By SpaceX

Will Provide Recovery Systems For Falcon 9

Airborne Systems told ANN this week its Space and Recovery Systems Engineering team (formerly Irvin Aerospace) has been selected to provide Recovery Systems for Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s (SpaceX) Falcon 9/Dragon system. These systems will support government and commercial launch operations and the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

The Airborne Systems team will design and manufacture parachutes and related equipment to recover both the First and Second Stages of the Falcon 9 Rocket and the Dragon Capsule. The capsule will become a transportation vehicle to deliver cargo to and return equipment from NASA's International Space Station (ISS).

In addition to carrying cargo, it is also being designed to transport crew members to the ISS in the future.

"Our solution features a main parachute design from our family of large Ringsail products," said Tony Taylor, Technical Director, Space Market. "The Ringsail was designed to handle the rigors of spacecraft recovery. Over the years, its unique design has proven its worth and is currently used on a number of spacecraft recovery programs including the parachute development on NASA's Orion Spacecraft. We are very proud to be selected to work with SpaceX as our entire team has been focused on developing parachute recovery systems for large spacecraft and manned spaceflight for over a decade."

"We worked with Airborne Systems on the Falcon 1 project and we are pleased to have them join the Falcon 9 and Dragon team as well," said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX.

Airborne Systems has combined the core technologies of four parachute brands; Irvin Aerospace, GQ Parachutes, Para-Flite and AML (Aircraft Materials, Ltd). The company designs and manufactures parachutes for military, personnel, and cargo systems, space and air vehicle recovery systems, and deceleration systems for high-performance aircraft. The company also provides ordnance flare chutes, airbags, and weapons delivery systems.

FMI: www.airborne-sys.com

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