Contracts for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration will be awarded this month. NASA is to announce on 18 August which of the six COTS finalist teams will be selected for the $500 million, four-year programme.

The six competing to develop an International Space Station cargo delivery system by 2010 are Andrews Space, Rocketplane Kistler, SpaceDev, Space Exploration Technologies, Spacehab and Trans­formational Space. In the first year the winners will have $40 million between them to develop their delivery systems. On 31 August NASA will announce whether the Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin team has won the phase two contract to develop the CEV. The winner would be expected to go on to build and service the vehicle for its operational lifetime.

NASA may also announce a new name for the CEV. The name Orion is apparently undergoing the trademark registration process for NASA spacecraft and capsules. On 30 June the US space agency announced new names for its Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and its Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaLV). The CLV became Ares I and the CaLV, Ares V.

Source: Flight International