NASA Awards $50 Million Contract To Alliant Techsystems
By Space Coast Daily // November 7, 2012
Company Will Examine Space Launch System Rockets
BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – Alliant Techsystems Inc. has received a contract worth $50 million from NASA to complete engineering development and risk- reduction tests as part of the Advanced Concept Booster Development for the Space Launch System rocket.
The contract with Alliant will help NASA manage important technological challenges during manufacturing of advanced booster requirements for its SLS program.
The company will use cost-saving materials and procedures to develop a lithium-ion battery-powered electric thrust vector control system, lightweight composite rocket motor case, high-performance propellant and an advanced nozzle. These advancements will conclude with a combined booster static test firing of these utilized technologies.
The Space Launch System will offer a completely new facility for human exploration beyond earth orbit. It also will support commercial and international transportation service partners to the International Space Station.
The system is designed to be safe, flexible and affordable for crew or cargo missions to continue America’s journey toward space discovery.
Driven by the installation of this modern technology including advanced booster design, NASA will help in reducing the cost of operations while minimizing risks under its SLS system program. The new initiative will provide higher reliability and greater performance than current NASA requirements, and will subsequently help to boost the capability of NASA’s heavy launch system.
Alliant and NASA jointly took few initiatives to minimize costs related to the SLS system. The company has already made significant progress toward developing the first ground test motor and advancements of cost-saving processes for manufacturing solid rocket booster for SLS system.
The company primarily uses Value Stream Mapping process, which helps to recognize incompetent processes and requirements of the system. Using this process, the company spotted more than 400 changes and improvements, which have already received NASA approvals.
Tests of the Space Launch System rockets are expected by 2017.