Boeing and Northrop Grumman have revealed their full team competing for the NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) contract, which has a submission deadline of 1 May. The team includes US companies United Space Alliance, research and development specialist Draper Laboratory, engineering management services provider Ares and Italian company Alenia Spazio.
The Italian manufacturer's involvement was expected because Boeing has a long-term relationship with Alenia Spazio's parent company, Finmeccanica. There is also potential to further expand the team. "We have had discussions with Japanese companies. They have capabilities that are of interest. The door remains open for other subcontrators," said Northrop space systems business development director Bob Davis, at last week's National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
Crew members on the Northrop/Boeing CEV will not wear spacesuits – like the Space Shuttle crews before the 1986 Challenger accident they will be able to travel in normal clothing. A demonstrator vehicle will fly in 2008 using an existing booster. Lockheed Martin revealed its CEV team in February. Its line up includes EADS Space Transportation.
ROB COPPINGER/COLORADO SPRINGS
Source: Flight International