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Composites Innovation 2018

NASA Awards Major Contract for Space Launch System Rocket

20 June 2017

NASA Awards Major Contract for Space Launch System Rocket

RUAG is partnering with Dynetics on the design and production of the Universal Stage Adapter for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to be flexible and evolvable for deep-space destinations.

The contract was awarded by NASA’s Glenn Research Centre.

As a teammate to the prime contract awardee Dynetics, RUAG Space will support work on the build of the Universal Stage Adapter, which will sit on top of the SLS core stage. RUAG will support Dynetics through its engineering team in Denver, Colorado, US, and its new manufacturing facility in Decatur, Alabama, US, providing carbon fibre composite structures.

“We are excited to be part of the winning team on this major component of NASA’s Space Launch System – in what is one of the most prestigious projects in the US, as well as globally,” says Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space.

This announcement follows RUAG’s celebratory event to commemorate the opening of the US facility for work on components including payload fairings, interstage adapters and heat shields.

“The Decatur facility and its state-of-the-art manufacturing technology for composite structures will play a key role in this mandate," adds K. Bruce Morris, General Manager for RUAG’s Alabama and Colorado sites. "I am sure RUAG’s strong US team – together with our partner Dynetics – will make this a great success.”

Dynetics plans to build, design and test the Universal Stage Adapter, which is 9.9 m long, and 8.4 m in diameter at its largest point, in its Huntsville, US facility, as well as in its new Decatur Aerospace Structures Complex, and in the RUAG Space large composite manufacturing facility. Following assembly and testing, the Universal Stage Adapter will be delivered to the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US. The estimated overall value of the contract is US$221 million, if all options are exercised. The launch of so-called 'Block 1B,' which features the Adapter, is scheduled for launch in the 2020s.


Photo provided by Dynetics





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