Boeing claim to be NASA’s low risk option for Ares I Upper Stage

by Chris Bergin

Following the announcement of Boeing’s team that will compete for the Ares I Upper Stage contract, Jim Chilton, Boeing’s vice president of Exploration Launch Systems believes their bid provides NASA with the lowest risk.

Boeing have teamed up with a range of established industry partners, in competition with ATK’s team of Lockheed Martin and Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne.
Huge amounts of VSE related insider news and presentations – THE most comprehensive place to follow Ares/Orion development – are available for download on L2. See list at the end of this article.


**ARES V / Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV) LIVE UPDATE PAGES**

Making up the Boeing team is Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. Moog Inc. Northrop Grumman Corporation. Orion Propulsion Inc. SUMMA Technology Inc. Chickasaw Nation Industries. United Space Alliance and the United Launch Alliance.

‘We think we’re the low risk offer. Our team is capable of completing the whole work segment, we didn’t need to go and buy any help. Then you go look at what’s best for NASA, by studying the RFP (Request For Proposals) and SRR (System Requirements Review) requirements, and we think we have a team that is just right for this job,’ said Chilton.

After losing out on the award of the lucrative Orion contract to Lockheed Martin, and with ATK’s role on the Ares I first stage, the Upper Stage contract is a must-win for Boeing.

‘We are the low risk offer as everyone on this team has the experience in the jobs we’re going to do on Ares I, so we’re keeping the risk to NASA low and we think we have a very competitive offer,’ Chilton added.

‘Our team is composed of industry leaders with experience in their Ares I upper stage roles. We don’t want to add risk to NASA’s program. Our team was built around NASA’s requirements.’

Chilton also noted that their experience with the Delta launch vehicles – and ongoing production refinements – will position Boeing towards a compliant capability to address the ongoing changes being made by NASA through the design cycle – currently heading into DAC-2.
A major part of the Ares I Upper Stage – which has undergone several major design refinements already – is the common bulkhead design, which is currently baselined.

Chilton noted that ‘production technology is being applied right now’ in regards to the common bulkhead in their bid to NASA.

‘We will bring innovative manufacturing approaches and the best elements of Boeing and our teammates to bear on this critical NASA Constellation Program element,’ he added. ‘Our lean practices, proven in commercial airplanes and defense programs, will help us provide a low cost, safe and reliable upper stage.’

The NASA solicitation requires the winning party to build 23 Upper Stages over the period of performance, at the rate of two Upper Stages per year – matching the current flight rate that has been scheduled for the Ares I, with NASA requesting information on the possibility of six being built per year.

The Ares I final proposal volume for the competition will be submitted April 13. 

Selection of L2 Resources For Ares I, V and Constellation: SIX Part Series of Ares I Upper Stage Graphical Overviews. DAC-1C DDD Vast Slides on Vehicle Design. ATK First Stage Presentation. 39B Lightning Towers Slides. DAC-1C Departure points to DAC-2 Upper Stage Graphcs (Many Changes).

Orion/CEV Display Layout Presentation (40 pages) – Feb 5. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV – Feb 2. Weather Shield (Rain Shield) for Orion on the pad – Feb 1. New Super hi-res images of Ares I – Feb 1. ATK Cutaway graphics of Ares I – perspective and axonometric – Feb 1. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. CEV Paracute Assembly System (CPAS) Presentation.

Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) overview presentation – Jan 16. Major changes to Ares I Upper Stage – expansive details and data. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. Saturn Twang Test Video for use with Ares I-1R. CLV Umbilical Trade Matrix XLS.

Vehicle interfaces for the DAC 1C version of Orion Ares – Jan 3. Ares I-1R Test Flight Plan (full outline) Presentation. Ares I-1 timeline and modification expanded info. Ares I troubleshooting latest. Ares I Reference Trajectory. Boeing’s STS to Ares – Lessons Learned Presentation. Latest Ares I and Ares V baseline Configuration image and data. CLV DAC-1C (Changes to CLV Upper Stage).

Ares I-1: Four Seg+Dummy ‘Tuna Can’ stage. Ascent Developmental Flight Test Presentation. CLV Pad 39B Handover Info and Latest. New images of CLV on top of new MLP and LUT. Lockheed Martin CEV/Orion Updates. Constellation news updates. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV.

90 Minute Video of Constellation all hands meeting. CLV TIM Meeting Information. CLV/CaLV Infrastructure, Timelines and Information. Escape System Trade Study Presentation.

CEV-CLV Design Analysis Cycle Review (DAC-2) Presentation. Constellation SRR updates. CLV Stick – Troubleshooting/Alternatives/Updates. New CEV Images (include abort mode). Flight Design and Dynamics Division CEV update. CLV Mono-propellant RCS system. CEV pressurisation system review. CLV/CEV Configuration Images. The 2×3 Seg SRB Crew Launch Vehicle Option Presentation…plus more.

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