Jim Cast
Headquarters, Washington, DC             December 15, 1995
(Phone:  202/358-1779)

Dom Amatore
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
(Phone:  205/544-0031)

RELEASE:  95-219


     NASA has issued a draft Cooperative Agreement Notice 
for the design, fabrication and flight test of the X-33 
advanced technology demonstrator -- the next step in 
development of a new generation of reusable launch vehicles 
that will dramatically reduce the cost of putting payloads 
into orbit.

     "We are seeking comments on the draft notice by Jan. 
22, 1996, from industry and any other interested parties," 
said X-33 project manager Gene Austin.  "We will consider 
these comments before issuing the actual Cooperative 
Agreement Notice in April 1996."

     The April notice will solicit proposals for a joint 
government and industry effort to demonstrate single-stage-
to-orbit technologies by means of the X-33.  Three aerospace 
companies -- Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, McDonnell Douglas 
Aerospace and Rockwell International Corp. -- have been 
working with NASA since March on concept definition and 
design of the X-33 in Phase I of the program.  NASA will 
select an industry partner to work with in Phase II, in 
which the X-33 will demonstrate vehicle reusability and 
operability concepts that assure low cost operations and 
rapid processing for reflight.  Phase II will culminate in 
flight testing of the X-33, beginning in early 1999.

     "X-33 is an experimental program intended to determine 
if single-stage-to-orbit will work," Austin said.  "It will 
give government and industry the means to decide by the end 
of this decade the feasibility of developing an operational 
next-generation reusable launch vehicle.  That development, 
if it occurs, will be led by industry."

     NASA and industry will share costs during Phase II of 
the X-33 program, with NASA budgeting a total of over $900 
million in expenditures through 1999.  The amount its 
industry partner will invest is to be determined.

     Industry proposals will be due mid-May 1996, and NASA 
expects to select its industry partner by July, subject to 
approval from the White House to proceed into this next 
phase of the X-33 program. 

     The X-33 draft Cooperative Agreement Notice is 
available in the NASA Acquisition Internet Service at:



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