Date: 3/9/95 4:09 PM From: Elliot Pulham NEWS RELEASE Contact: Anne Toulouse or Keith Takahashi McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (714) 896-6211 or 896-1302 Elliot Pulham Boeing Defense & Space Group (206) 773-3613
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., March 9, 1995 -- A design concept for a new reusable launch vehicle capable of low-cost orbital operations with airline operability is the goal of a contract which McDonnell Douglas and the Boeing Company have been selected to negotiate with the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA this week announced that under such a contract it would share costs with a McDonnell Douglas-Boeing team for a 15-month effort to develop the concept for an X-33 launch vehicle. The contract would be one of three awarded by NASA to aerospace industry teams to come up with design concepts.
The X-33 program, led by NASA, is a cooperative industry-government effort to develop an advanced launch technology demonstrator. The objective of the first of three phases is to define the concept and design for a reusable launch vehicle that could evolve into an affordable, reliable space transportation system to meet the nation's civil, commercial and military space launch needs.
"McDonnell Douglas and Boeing believe that the development of an affordable, reliable space transportation system is key to meeting NASA's objectives," said Paul Klevatt, X-33 program manager for McDonnell Douglas Aerospace in Huntington Beach. "This shared goal has enabled our team to meld our extensive capabilities quickly."
"Our work together has proven that each company's experiences and successes in aircraft development and manufacturing and in space programs provide great resources for the team to draw from," said Livingston Holder, program manager, Reusable Launch Vehicle Programs for Boeing Defense & Space Group in Seattle, Wash.
During Phase One the team will select the team's design using a "clean sheet of paper" approach which considers several promising technological approaches. An important Phase One element will be a business plan that outlines the financing of development and manufacturing costs as well as a plan for evolving profitable commercial launch operations.
NASA plans to select a single contractor or contractor team from among the three competitors for a Phase Two effort running from 1996 to 1999, during which an X-33 vehicle technology demonstrator is to be built and test flown. Phase Three would begin in 1999 and signal the beginning of full-scale production of a reusable launch vehicle.