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ATK (Alliant Techsystems) has been awarded a basic contract with options totaling a potential $11 million from McDonnell Douglas Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, to study technology concepts for a composite cryogenic fuel tank that could be used on a next-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV) under development by NASA in the first phase of its Space Launch Initiative (SLI).
SLI is a five-year program to develop technologies and the business case for a new RLV that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space while substantially increasing safety and reliability. In May, Boeing was awarded a $136 million SLI contract from NASA to study airframe, vehicle subsystems, operations, and propulsion concepts that could lead to advanced technologies for eventual application to a specific RLV design.
ATK’s composite technology study work under its three-year contract will be conducted by ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Company at its facilities in Clearfield, Utah, and Iuka, Miss. “”Our composite structures team is looking forward to participating in this major new initiative, which could lead to significant advances in space exploration and transportation,”” said Travis E. Campbell, president, ATK Aerospace Composite Structures Company. “”As a leader in the design and fabrication of large composite structures for aerospace applications, we are confident that we can make an important contribution to the Boeing SLI team.”” NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is leading the Space Launch Initiative, with all NASA field centers also participating in the effort. The Air Force Research Laboratory and research and development facilities at nine U.S. Air Force bases are also involved in the initiative.
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