Boeing has announced its team to compete for the production contract for NASA’s Ares I crew launch vehicle upper stage. The Ares I rocket will launch the Orion crew exploration vehicle to the International Space Station from 2015 and by 2020 to low Earth orbit to dock with a trans-lunar injection module for Moon missions.


 Above: NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle's upper stage carries Orion

Boeing’s team includes Hamilton Sundstrand, Northrop Grumman and lean manufacturing practices partner Moog. Orion Propulsion, a small, woman-owned aerospace company is another partner, along with tribally-owned logistics business Chickasaw Nation Industries and SUMMA Technology, a small manufacturing company. Two consortia which include Boeing, United Launch Alliance and United Space Alliance, are also in the team.

Boeing’s group is competing against the Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne team. Alliant Techsystems is developing the Ares I first stage, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is providing engines for the Ares I and Lockheed will build the Orion capsule that sits atop the rocket.