Last month NASA officials gave a series of presentations about the space agency’s deep-space exploration plans to the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Committee. I have excerpted slides from those presentations to provide an overview of what the space agency is planning. (more…)
NASA has released a document listing the 1,206 active Space Act Agreements (SAAs) the agency has with commercial companies, non-profit organizations and state and local governments.
From that list, I’ve extracted agreements with individual companies. Below you will find tables listing SAAs that NASA has signed with Virgin Group companies, Moon Express and NanoRacks. There is also a fourth table that has SAAs with a number of companies and organizations that we follow on Parabolic Arc.
SAAs come in three varieties: reimburseable, non-reimburseable and funded. Under reimburseable agreements, a company or organization will pay NASA for its services. No money exchanges hands under non-reimburseable agrements. And under funded agreements, NASA pays the company to perform work or provide services. (The space agency made substantial use of SAA’s in the Commercial Crew Program.)
ULA and Dynetics are planning investments in Decatur, Ala. to gear up for production of the new Vulcan launch vehicle.
ULA’s proposed project requires capital investment for new technology and infrastructure for the production of the new Vulcan thrust structure assembly, which is ULA’s next generation launch system. Beginning in August 2017, the project’s total capital investment is approximately $115.6 million. ULA’s project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2020 and will help secure the employment of approximately 620 existing employees with an estimated annual payroll of around $43 million before benefits.
Dynetics presented their plans to construct the second building of an aerospace structures complex adjacent to ULA, to support development and structural testing of launch vehicles and large aerospace structures. The capital investment for the project is estimated to be $7,4. Million and is expected to create 15 new jobs within one year with an estimated annual payroll of $1 million before benefits.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Dynetics, Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama, to develop and build a universal stage adapter for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The adapter will connect NASA’s Orion spacecraft and provide additional cargo space for the future configurations of the rocket containing an exploration upper stage (EUS).
President Elect Donald Trump has appointed six new members to the NASA transition team, including Steve Cook, who formerly managed the agency’s Ares program, and retired astronaut Sandra Magnus.
Steve Cook, acting president of Dynetics Technical Services in Huntsville, Ala., led NASA’s Ares program from July 2005 to August 2009. The program included the Ares I and Ares V heavy-lift vehicle and the Orion crew spacecraft for deep-space exploration.
The Obama Administration canceled the programs. However, Congress resurrected the Ares V as the Space Launch System and kept the Orion program in place.
At Dynetics, Cook has been involved in support Aerojet Rocketdyne’s development of the AR-1 engine. He also supported the company’s work on Stratolaunch Systems’ aircraft, which is designed to air launch satellite boosters.
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 29, 2016 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Following the U.S. Air Force selection of AR1 for a Rocket Propulsion System award, Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), named Dynetics of Huntsville, Alabama, as a key team member for the AR1 engine development.
Tim Pickens has left is position as vice president of propulsion at Moon Express to become propulsion department manager at Bigelow Aerospace. He is leading the development of Bigelow’s propulsion systems in Huntsville, Ala.
The Bigelow Aerospace B330 Propulsion Team will design and develop systems for re-boost, docking, attitude control, and other on-orbit maneuvering requirements for missions destined to reposition stations to other locations.
We are seeking proven hands-on talent in the following disciplines: propulsion system design/analysis, modeling, and manufacturing, and in the use of vacuum test facilities to produce hot/cold vacuum environments to support development and qualification testing.
We have immediate positions available for seasoned talent who have excelled in a fast-paced environment and who are ready to make commercial space history.
Pickens joined Moon Express in February 2013 from Dynetics. He had founded Orion Propulsion in 2004, selling it to Dynetics five years later.
Pickens had also heading the Rocket City Space Pioneers, a Google Lunar X Prize contender supported by Dynetics. The team was acquired by Moon Express in December 2012 through a teaming agreement with Dynetics.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Now that’s a wide load. An 18-foot-wide, 10,000-plus-pound cryogenic tank for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), traveled by road and by river March 12 from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to a Dynetics Inc. test facility in Iuka, Mississippi.
SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The first flight test of the SLS will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected three proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight (ULW) materials for future aerospace vehicles and structures. The proposals will mature advanced technologies that will enable NASA to reduce the mass of spacecraft by 40 percent for deep space exploration.
“Lightweight and multifunctional materials and structures are one of NASA’s top focus areas capable of having the greatest impact on future NASA missions in human and robotic exploration,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. “These advanced technologies are necessary for us to be able to launch stronger, yet lighter, spacecraft and components as we look to explore an asteroid and eventually Mars.”
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 1, 2015 (Dynetics PR) — Dynetics will partner with NASA to pioneer a new rapid, highly efficient system that removes carbon dioxide (CO2) and potentially other undesirable gases from spacecraft cabin air, Dynetics officials announced today. Dynetics is one of 12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) selected by NASA to advance concept studies and technology development projects in the areas of advanced propulsion, habitation and small satellites.
These public-private partnerships will facilitate the development of exploration capabilities necessary to enable commercial endeavors in space and human exploration to deep-space destinations such as cis-lunar space (the proving ground of space around the moon) and Mars.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Building on the success of NASA’s partnerships with commercial industry to date, NASA has selected 12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) to advance concept studies and technology development projects in the areas of advanced propulsion, habitation and small satellites.
Through these public-private partnerships, selected companies will partner with NASA to develop the exploration capabilities necessary to enable commercial endeavors in space and human exploration to deep-space destinations such as the proving ground of space around the moon, known as cis-lunar space, and Mars.
“Commercial partners were selected for their technical ability to mature key technologies and their commitment to the potential applications both for government and private sector uses,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters. “This work ultimately will inform the strategy to move human presence further into the solar system.”
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 23, 2014 (Dynetics PR)– Boeing and Dynetics announced today they are partnering on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) program, America’s heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system. Boeing recently finalized a contract with NASA to develop the SLS Core stage and has selected Dynetics to provide some key elements of the stage including three structural test simulators and the Thrust Vector Control Exhaust Gas Heat Exchanger (TVC EGHE) for this stage.
ARLINGTON, Va., May 20, 2014 (OmniEarth PR)– OmniEarth LLC announced today a partnership with Harris Corp., Draper Laboratory and Dynetics to create a constellation of satellites to deliver high resolution analytics-grade, multispectral imagery data and products, and hosted payloads to commercial and government customers. Imagery data and products will be for subscribers in the agriculture, energy, natural resources, mobile services and government communities.
The planned OmniEarth constellation of up to 18 satellites will cover 100% of the Earth once per day. OmniEarth’s imagery and analytics will enhance users’ ability to detect, analyze, react to and predict economic and environmental change in near real time.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., May 19, 2014 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR), a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, and Dynetics are announcing a strategic partnership in Huntsville, Ala., to enhance collaboration in aerospace technologies and systems.
Based on marked success supporting NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) program, AR and Dynetics plan to expand the existing partnership to include: high-temperature, lightweight materials; next generation additive manufacturing technologies; in-space propulsion systems and high performance booster rocket engine systems.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., March 31, 2014 – Dynetics recently met a milestone in the company’s work on the Space Launch System (SLS) Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) contract. Using the robotic weld tool at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the Dynetics friction stir weld team successfully completed the first two dome to y-ring welds as part of its work on a full-scale cryogenic tank for the SLS. The cryogenic tank is an 18-foot diameter welded aluminum structure that weighs more than 20,000 pounds and is composed of some of the thickest material ever welded on that tool.